Since the start of this year, India have experimented a lot with their limited-overs sides. That, however, has had no impact on the outcome of the matches as India have pretty much won most of their white-ball assignments. The fact that India have about two back-ups for almost every position in the XI, speaks volumes about the kind of quality they have in their arsenal. With big tournaments like Asia Cup and T20 World Cup knocking at the doors, India captain Rohit Sharma said he and head coach Rahul Dravid have deliberately chalked out a plan to prepare backups for the big stars.
Rohit said star pacers like Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are not going to be around forever so it is important to give youngsters a chance so that they can fill their shoes when required.
“Bumrah, (Mohammed) Shami and all these guys will not be with the Indian team forever, so you have to try and prepare the other guys. I and Rahul bhai spoke about how we are going to create our bench strength because that’s going to be very crucial considering the amount of cricket we play, considering the injury factors and everything,” Rohit said.
India, in fact, have had seven captains so far this year. Rohit and other first-XI cricketers like Virat Kohli, Bumrah, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, have often been rested. None of them are part of India’s current ODI tour of Zimbabwe. Rohit said, they don’t want to depend on one or two individuals.
“We never want to be a team that relies on one or two individuals, we want to be a team where everyone can contribute and help the team win on their own. We want to be that kind of a team and that’s why we want to give the youngsters as many opportunities as possible and of course, you have got senior players around them. They can be of good help,” Rohit said.
When asked about India’s squad for T20 World Cup later this year, the opening batter said 80-90% India’s squad is confirmed but there can be a few changes as there are still couple of months to go for the showpiece event.
“There are still about two-and-a-half months left for the T20 World Cup. Before that, we have the Asia Cup and two home series against Australia and South Africa. So, 80-90 per cent of your team is set, of course there could be three-four changes if at all depending on the conditions. As of now, we have been playing in India and will play in UAE, so the conditions in Australia will be different. We need to check what suits our team in Australia,” he added.