Updated: March 6, 2018 2:53:58 pm
After a successful tour of South Africa where India beat the Proteas 5-1 in the ODIs and 2-1 in the T20s, the team will shift its focus to the Nidahas Trophy. The tri-series is being hosted by Sri Lanka and also includes Bangladesh as a special contests to celebrate Lanka’s Independence. Following the short trip to the island nation, players would shift attention to IPL before the series in Ireland and England in the middle of the year. Keeping the tight schedule in mind, it was imperative for the selectors to try the bench strength. Mayank Agarwal with 2141 runs across formats in the domestic season ticked all boxes but still failed to find a spot in the 15-man squad. Agarwal scored 90 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final to take Karnataka to the title.
“No player should be confused about where he stands. Our committee speaks to every player — even those who are to selected and try to give them a fair picture. Accordingly, I spoke to Mayank and told him that with his brilliant performances in domestic cricket, he has now definitely got himself in the mix (national team reckoning). I told him that he is now in the queue,” said national selection committee chairman MSK Prasad in a chat with PTI. “We have followed a pattern in our selection process. Each and every national contender is in the queue and we don’t believe that anyone can jump the queue. Mayank is a wonderful kid and he completely understood what I explained to him. He told me ‘Sir, you are spot on and ‘I am not in a hurry at all’.”
Jasprit Bumrah – an asset in the limited overs already – added Test matches to his list of suitable formats. He bowled 162.1 overs across formats including 112.1 overs in the three-match Test series. Keeping the workload in mind, Prasad said it is important that he is not over-used. “I am delighted with Jasprit’s performance. We always had confidence in his abilities as he had done well for Gujarat in Ranji Trophy. But now our primary goal is to monitor his workload very carefully with so much international cricket ahead. We need to be careful that he is not over-used,” said Prasad.
He further stressed on using Bumrah only for important series also considering his unusual bowling action. “If you look at his action, it is a rare one and he can be prone to injuries. We need to use him for the important Test series coming ahead. For each and every fast bowler, the balance of workload is very important and the high performance team will be monitoring it closely,” said the former India wicketkeeper.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Chahal were the other two bowlers who had South Africa’s measure during the tour. The two wrist spinners shared 33 wickets between them in India’s ODI series. “We always believed that wrist spinners are wicket-taking investments that we had to make. Both Chahal and Kuldeep have really lived up to our expectations. The most heartening aspect has been the pool that we have managed to create. We now have five quality spinners for three formats — Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel,” Prasad said.
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