Team India’s unprecedented heist in Australia where they went on turn the tables on the hosts despite losing more than half of their first-choice players is as much a success of the 11 men that took the field but also of the process set-up by the backroom staff-led by Ravi Shastri, the former India A, and U-19 coach Rahul Dravid and the BCCI. But apart from the above-mentioned stakeholders, the former national selection committee led by MSK Prasad also deserves a lot of credit for preparing the much-vaunted bench-strength, which the team is reaping rewards of currently.
The MSK Prasad-led selection committee which included the likes of Sarandeep Singh, Gagan Khoda, Devang Gandhi, and Jatin Paranjpe was instrumental in developing the next generation of Indian cricketers via a strong India A program.
India A set-up has proved to be a feeder system for the national team as the amount of experience and exposure that the young players have got by playing in different conditions around the world has helped them bridge the gap between domestic cricket and the international arena, a clear proof of which was evident with the likes of Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, and Mohammed Siraj playing a fearless brand of cricket in their maiden international outings.
MSK Prasad, in a recent interview with News18, revealed how his selection committee played a huge role in developing the bench-strength, the results of which were truly evident in the recent Australian series.
”When our committee had taken up our roles, our thought process was was very very clear that we cannot do much about the current Indian lot. Our strength lies in developing a succession chart, in developing a good bench strength across all formats and departments of the game. For that, we’ve extensively traveled across the country, followed the neutral policy and without bias developed a healthy bench strength,” MSK Prasad told News18.
”Fortunately, we had a wonderful combination with Rahul Dravid in India A and Ravi bhai in the senior team. Quite a few times we all sat together and created a pathway where the process is very smooth from domestic to India A to the senior level,” he added.
”We had a very clear plan. What we’re looking at today’s series, except Natarajan, rest all were groomed through a systematic process of India A. The entire credit should go to my colleagues, our team, and also Rahul Dravid and his support staff and Ravi bhai and his support staff. The healthy environment that we could create for the smooth transition of the players is what helped,” Prasad said.