Team India head coach Ravi Shastri has said the most positive thing that has come in the post-Covid world is the number of fringe players who have got a chance to display their talent at the highest level.
The onset of Covid and the resultant bio-bubbles and training and travel restrictions have forced teams to play with an extended squad and with so many players getting injured, it has provided opportunities to plenty of uncapped players to make their mark at the highest level.
The likes of Washington Sundar, T Natarajan, Mohammed Siraj, Axar Patel have all made their debuts during the Test series against Australia and England while Shardul Thakur earned a call-up to the red-ball team following injuries to first-choice seamers. Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan are all set to do the same in the upcoming T20I series against England.
“You’d have never imagined the number of players that would’ve played for India six months ago. This has been the most positive thing to come out of the recent bubble (in Australia), considering India had to travel with enlarged squads,” said Ravi Shastri during a conversation with Times of India.
“Normally, we would travel with 17 or 18 cricketers. But because of the bubble, because of the quarantine laws (in Australia), we had to go with 25-30 or more cricketers. So, as a result, you had to dig deep and pick your best. As luck would have it, we were left with no choice but to play all 30 of them. So, we got to find out who’s good and who’s not. And it’s something that has worked well,” Shastri further said.
With Team India once again having a packed calendar this year, Ravi Shastri did not rule out the possibility of fielding completely different playing 11s for different formats and assignments.
“These are things one would not imagine, but circumstances have made things happen and I’m glad the youngsters who got the opportunity have grabbed it with both hands. India might as well field two playing elevens out there,” added Shastri.