MSK Prasad, the former chairman of selectors, has highlighted that Team India is reaping the rewards of the hard work that the selectors have put in over the last five years.
India will field two different teams simultaneously in international cricket after 23 long years. Virat Kohli & Co. will continue with their training in Durham, ahead of their Test series against England. The second Indian team, led by Shikhar Dhawan, will be in Colombo to face Sri Lanka for a white-ball series.
MSK Prasad: Process Of 5 Years Is Bearing Dividends
Both teams have good chances of winning their respective series. Former India cricketer and selector MSK Prasad credited India A tours and the IPL for surfacing unnurtured talent.
Former India’s chairman of selectors MSK Prasad opened up on India’s enormous talent pool that has enabled them to field two teams. MSK Prasad, who served as the chairman of India’s selectors until late 2019, produced mixed results for India, the high of which included the team’s maiden Test series win in Australia. But he stated that it’s the hard work of five years that has landed them to the possibility of fielding two teams.
“There have been numerous India A tours during my tenure as a selector. The senior team management, along with the national selectors and India A head staff would sit down and identify fringe players and hand them opportunities for the smooth transition to take place. It’s a process of over 5 years that’s bearing dividends,” said MSK Prasad.
From 2017 to 2019, the India A team has played 24 unofficial Test matches, which is more than what New Zealand, Bangladesh, and Pakistan have played during this period. No other A team has played more than 14 unofficial Test matches, which speaks volumes about the time and money the BCCI has invested to build the bench strength.
Miles away from Durham where the Virat Kohli-led Test team is camped, Shikhar Dhawan on Sunday will walk out for the Colombo ODI. This will be the first time in 23 years that India will be fielding two teams simultaneously in international cricket. And interestingly both Indian teams start as favourites. This move showcases the staggering reservoir of talent at India’s disposal, something that Australia had tried to inculcate into its system.
Inzamam-ul-Haq: Idea Of Assembling A Second Indian Team Interesting And India Appears To Pull It Off
Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, meanwhile, is fascinated by the idea of fielding two different teams simultaneously. The legendary batsman is confident that India can pull it off, unlike Australia, who had failed to do the same a few years back.
“This idea of assembling a second Indian team is interesting. What India are trying to do today, Australia did this years ago, but they were not able to be successful in it. India appears to be pulling it off,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said on his YouTube channel, Inzamam ul Haq – The Match Winner.
In 2017, Australia decided to send completely different squads for playing the Test series against India and a T20I series against Sri Lanka at the same time. In February 2017, Australia had played a T20I against Sri Lanka in Adelaide on February 22, and on the next day, their Test team played India in Pune in the first game of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
In September 1998, India was scheduled to participate at the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia, a showpiece event that was overlapping with the big-ticket five-match ODI series against Pakistan in Toronto. BCCI assembled two squads — one led by Ajay Jadeja that bowed out of CWG with just one win, while the other led by incumbent captain Mohammed Azharuddin were skittled away 4-1.