India tour of New Zealand: World Cup-winning former all-rounder Ravi Shastri said India have all the resources to play a fearless brand of T20I cricket like England. The former head coach said India should start identifying specialists in T20Is sooner than later.
Hardik Pandya will lead India in T20Is against New Zealand from November 18 (AP Photo)
By India Today Web Desk: Former India head coach Ravi Shastri said on Thursday that India have the talent pool to emulate England’s approach in white-ball cricket, especially in T20Is. The former all-rounder said India should ideally start the process of identifying youngsters for roles in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup sooner than later.
Speaking to the press in a video interaction on the eve of India’s T20I series against New Zealand, Shastri heaped praise on England’s approach, saying they were the team that took the bull by its horn and focused on role clarity and freedom in T20Is even if that meant accomplished seniors were kept away from the T20I team.
Notably, India’s stand-in head coach VVS Laxman said that the team will start to identify T20I specialists in the T20I series against New Zealand, starting November 18 and Shastri said it’s the right way to go.
India’s approach in the T20I format has come under the scanner after they failed to go past the semi-final of T20 World Cup 2022. After an early exit from the showpiece tournament in 2021, Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid took on the job of getting the combination right for the World Cup in Australia. However, India went in with a similar line-up and paid the price for lack of fearlessness.
“There’s an opportunity with this team in the future to identify roles for players, identify match-winners, and go pretty much on the template of England,” Shastri said on Thursday.
“They are one team that really caught the bull by the horns after the 2015 World Cup. They sat down and said they are going to identify the best players for that format of the game – whether it’s T20 or 50-over cricket. Which meant that if they are some senior players, and have to sit out, so be it. And they got in youngsters who were fearless, and could adapt to that pattern of the game.
“It’s a template that can be followed easily, India has got a wealth of resources and it can start from this tour. It’s a fresh young side, you can identify, groom this team,” he added.
India will be led by Hardik Pandya in the absence of Rohit Sharma, who has been rested for the tour of New Zealand along with Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.
Quite a few former cricketers have backed Hardik, who won the IPL 2022 title with newbies Gujarat Titans, to take over as full-time captain. Shastri alslo backed the thought process, saying it’s going to be hard for Rohit to lead India across all three formats of the game.