New Delhi: Not many gave the Ravi Shastri-coached India a chance to win eight of the 12 matches on their tour of South Africa but it became a reality, though winning a Test series in the rainbow nation remained a dream. India managed a Test victory in 1-2 defeat and never looked back after winning the third Test, after which they cantered through the ODI series 5-1 and the T20I trophy 2-1. And all that on pitches where India have historically been at the receiving end.
Winning seven of their nine matches in the limited-overs leg of the SA tour silenced many detractors, especially those who believed India prepare snake pits as hosts and then complain about the fast and bouncy pitches they are offered overseas. Shastri had a message for those critics while talking to mid-day.
"We don't give excuses; we play on what we are offered. That's how my boys play. And it's a ground rule — no complaints, no excuses, it's the same pitch for both teams," the India coach said in an interview.
Shastri, however, said success in South Africa doesn't guarantee better results on the Test tours of England and Australia this year. But he reaffirmed that India will never complain about pitches abroad and expects teams to do the same when they tour India.
"I wouldn't say that (wins in SA guarantee success in England and Australia). But we don't complain about pitches. We go and play and the message is very clear — when you come to my country, never question the pitches because I will say, 'take a fu****g walk'," said Shastri.