This is good for any team management and selection committee. Good competition is a must for any strong team. The team has been going through this situation for the last nearly 22 months. And this is a good sign.
India’s problem now is to choose from too many players. Take Rishabh Pant for example. Presently, he is a favorite of the cricket world. His recent performance has been excellent. But Ishaan Kishan has also come close to making a place in the team. Sanju Samson may not be getting chances but another good season and he will join the contenders again.
Dinesh Karthik and Wriddhiman Saha are among the old players while S.K. Bhagat and N. Jagadishan is also constantly trying to strengthen his claim. So despite doing so well, there is a lot of stiff competition for Pant. “It’s a good headache,” says head coach Ravi Shastri.
Another example is that of Ravindra Jadeja. He was out of the team due to a finger injury and players like Akshar Patel and Washington Sundar got a chance. Shastri said, ‘Akshar has a lot of experience. He has been playing for many years. He has been with the team for many years. He remained out of the team due to injury. Now when Jadeja got hurt, Akshar got a chance and he took full advantage of it.
Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah is getting married and due to this he has taken a break. He will also return soon. Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are also recovering. Umesh Yadav stayed in 15 but could not make it to the final 11. Navdeep Saini has increased his fitness. There are high expectations from T. Natarajan and Shardul Thakur is also close.
Apart from this, Basil Thampi, Shivam Mavi, Khalil Ahmed, Eminent Krishna and many others are also very close. Ishant is quite a company for Sharma and Mohammed Siraj. Shastri said, “You would never have thought that so many players can play for the team as many as have played in the last six months.” He further said, ‘The most positive thing has come out of the recent bubble in Australia. Due to this corona, India has to travel with a large team.
Shastri added, ‘We usually travel with 17-18 players. But due to this bubble and quarantine in Australia, we had to travel with 25-30 players rather more. So the result has been that you had to work hard to choose your best. We had to play with all 30 because of luck. So that we can know who is better and who is not. And it has been very good. ‘ Due to the large pool, the Indian team was able to give Natarajan and Sundar a chance in the Test team. This could not have been possible earlier.
Shastri said, ‘You could not think of this at first but such situations have arisen. I am happy that the youth has grabbed the opportunity with both hands. ‘ He added, “There may be a time when the Indian team has landed on the grounds with two playing eleven.”
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