Soon to be officially elected as the vice-president of the BCCI, Rajeev Shukla has revealed that president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah have taken note of India’s poor performance against Australia in the first Test in Adelaide and are doing what is needed to ensure the team improves from here on. India on Saturday were bowled out for 26 – their lowest-ever Test total as Australia won the first Test by eight wickets to go 1-0 up in the series.
Shukla, a former chairman of the Indian Premier League, revealed that the board members are not happy with India’s performance and its members are in touch with the team management in Australia regarding what needs to be done going forward.
“We are not happy. It was not a good score and we are really concerned. The BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah are concerned about it and both are working on some plans through which the performance can be improved. They will obviously be in touch with team management. I am quite optimistic and hopeful that in the next Test match we will definitely do better,” Shukla told ANI.
Shukla also gave an answer as to whether the BCCI has any plans of sending NCA (National Cricket Academy) chief Rahul Dravid to Australia to help India’s batsmen for the remaining three Tests. Following India’s shambolic batting collapse, former India batsman and chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar, in an interview, urged the BCCI to ‘rush’ Dravid, a successful former India A and Under-19 coach to Down Under, but Shukla cleared the air, saying no such decision has or will be taken.
“Nobody will be flown to Australia, our performance in the first innings against the hosts was good, we even took the lead but in the second innings we collapsed, it happens sometimes, after that all the corrective measures have been taken and I think our players are capable of improving the performance and they will definitely look at the wicket conditions in Melbourne and accordingly a composition of the squad will be worked up,” he added.
Shukla weighed in on Virat Kohli’s absence, saying the India captain’s void will be felt, but backed the Indian team to come back strong.
“Australian tour has always been a challenging tour and if you go by the earlier performance, it was very difficult to face the Aussie bowlers. Now the Indian team is showing a very brave front and they have started playing and making good runs in Australia. Virat’s absence will be there but other players are also very competent and I think the team will definitely do very well,” Shukla pointed out.