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India will need to blend youth with experience: Shastri

Last updated on 13 Jun 2023 | 03:04 AM
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India will need to blend youth with experience: Shastri

Ravi Shastri was also vocal that the only way India will get 20 days of preparation time is if they missed the IPL

After a humbling at the hands of Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, Indian captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid echoed the thoughts of wanting a 20-day window for preparation ahead of such a final. But as the ground reality stood, India had only a week to prepare for the final, considering the late finish to the Indian Premier League. 

"Yeah, ideally, we would want to have a good time in hand to prepare, give enough rest to the bowlers," Rohit said at the post-match press conference. "Sometimes, it can be tough because playing T20 cricket, you completely bowl different lengths, different lines, and a lot of change-ups.

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri was point-blank when he said that, realistically, the demands of both the captain and the coach were a tall ask. Alongside that, he also pressed upon the fact that the choice was up to the players, had they missed the IPL, it would have given them a chance to prepare for the final. 

"Let's be realistic here. You're not going to get those 20 days. And if that's the case then you've got to miss IPL," Shastri told Star Sports after the WTC final. 

"So, the choice is yours and it's up to the establishment as well. I'm sure the BCCI will review this in the future, if a World Test Championship [final] is going to come after an IPL every time in the month of June, then for that season, if your team qualifies for the final, there should be certain clauses put to franchises,” he added.

The focus for the Indian team has shifted to the two-match Test series in West Indies, a tour that might see the first signs of a transition for the ageing Test squad. Shastri reckoned that India would need to draw inspiration from the Australian side, blending youth with experienced players, to get them Test-match ready. 

"That's what the think-tank and the selectors will have to sit and see, draw a plan, have the vision to see how you replenish your squad," he said.

"Australians are very good at doing that over the years. They see where they want to be in three years' time. They don't wait for suddenly five players to go away from the side,” he added.

In the presence of Steve Smith and David Warner, Australia managed to blend in the youngsters such as Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head and Cameron Green in the setup, allowing them to reap the rewards. Shastri insisted that the Indian selectors need to take the “hard calls” and look at the team’s interest - as the paramount thing. 

"They're constantly getting in youth. So there's a combination of youth and experience all the time. The youngsters learn quickly from the senior players. So your team is healthy and strong right through. So that planning has to be done. They're hard calls, people might not like it, but it's the team's interest that is paramount and that's how you should look at it."

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