After the 2022 T20 World Cup, where India could not go beyond the semi-final stage, there have been deliberations on whether fresh blood and ideas needed to be introduced in the T20I team. Many reports suggested that Hardik Pandya getting regular opportunities as the Indian T20I captain, after the World Cup, is an indication in that direction. While the discussions continue on that front, former India coach Ravi Shastri has suggested that it’s time to give youngsters a chance in the T20I squad. In a discussion on ESPNCricinfo, one of the panelists asked: “Potential Shubman Gll, Yashasvi jaiswal, Hardik Pandya at No. 3, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Verma, Jitesh Sharma, very fresh team from the past, would cup do they make the top 6?”
To which, Shastri replied: “Absolutely, if they have to think on those lines, they should be blooding them right now. Players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, they are proven. But I would go in that direction, so that they get the opportunities and exposure, whilst you keep the Virats and the Rohits fresh for one day cricket and Test cricket. Your focus there, with that kind of experience, should move to Test cricket, red ball cricket for the future World Test Championship. It’s exactly very similar to where Sachin, Rahul and Sourav were, and Laxman.”
Another panelist then asked: “Does it become tricky, if Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma say that ‘we still feel we are up to playing T20’?”
“It’s the form. A year is a long time. Players can be in form. The form can disappear. You will pick the best guys at that time and of course the experience will come, fitness will come,” Shastri replied.
He added that with the form that the youngsters are in, Shastri added that it will be no surprise that they get a longer run. “The youngsters will break the door down, the way they are playing with that kind of self-confidence and authority, they will bang it down. The very first T20 series that comes up now, just play these guys,” the former India head coach added.
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