India national cricket team’s reserve bench has been really impressive. In the absence of key and prime players, the second-string players have shown their class and provided much-needed wins to India. Like others, even the head coach Ravi Shastri is also impressed with the same. In a conversation with the Times of India Shastri shared his experience and feelings on the same.
Shastri amazed with bench strength
The post-lockdown period saw the Indian cricket team producing some amazing results overseas and in India. The tour of Australia has gone into the folklore and the Test series win has been termed as the best overseas win ever by most. Without a regular captain, key players, prime bowlers Indian national cricket team went on to win the series. The most impressive thing about the team at present is the reserve bench.
In conversation with the Times of India, Shastri admitted being amazed at the number of players that have represented India over the past six months. “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.”
How bio bubble helped
He explained how because of the bubble the team had to fly with 25-30 cricketers Down Under. “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.”
In the last few months, the Indian national cricket team has seen a number of new faces. T Natarajan, Axar Patel, Shubman Gill are some of the names who made their debuts in the Test format during this period, and now the likes of Ishant Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav are set for limited-overs adventure. Shastri added that the Indian team’s tight schedule might see the management opting for two playing XIs to keep the players fresh.
“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.”