Shadow tours before senior tours key to building bench strength: MSK Prasad
"We identified a pool of 25 to 30 players and groomed them."
Updated - Feb 6, 2020 7:32 pm
MSK Prasad, the national chief selector, has put forth the importance of shadow tour prior to senior tours. The former cricketer, whose credentials have often been questioned due to lack of India experience, said that the shadow tours help grooming talent in a massive way. Prasad quipped that domestic numbers are being taken into account before blooding them in the India A teams.
Presently, the senior India team is in New Zealand, playing a three-match ODI series that they are trailing by 0-1 after the defeat at the Seddon Park in Hamilton. The India A team is also in the land of the Kiwis, playing a two-match unofficial Test series. As per Prasad, the A tours help in building bench strength.
We take pride in the grooming process: Prasad
“Players are identified on the basis of consistency in the last two years in major domestic events. Then, they are given the India-A platform to show their skills,” Prasad was quoted as saying in Sportstar.
“The shadow tours, one month before the seniors’ tours, are the key to our central idea of building the reserve strength. So, we take pride in the grooming process of young talent or what you call the bench strength,” he stated.
“All the managements of India-A, the Indian senior team and the NCA are involved in this planning of player succession. We identified a pool of 25 to 30 players and groomed them. In addition, we also picked 60 to 70 players from domestic cricket, apart from India-A. We are watching them. For the next six to eight years, there need not be any worry about any department,” Prasad added.
Prasad remarked that the bench strength keeps the senior players on their toes. He believes that playing constantly under pressure has helped them thrive across formats. Recently, a couple of replacements have been called upon after injury concerns in the senior team.
Both Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are recovering from injuries. Hence the management called upon the likes of Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw. Gill will join the Test squad even as Agarwal has replaced Rohit in the ODIs. Shaw, on the other hand, has come in place of Dhawan.