Former India selector MSK Prasad has given credit to the Indian team’s recent success to the bench strength and their strategy. He also revealed how they shortlisted 60 to 80 players from the domestic circuit and groomed them all together for the highest form of the game as well.
“Through India A cricket, we shortlisted some 60 to 80 players that we wanted to follow in domestic cricket,” Prasad, a former India wicketkeeper-batsman was quoted as saying in The Cricket Monthly. “We posted ourselves for all those matches where these 60 players were playing. Otherwise, you have 15-16 first-class matches going on every day. You can’t keep running here and there.”
MSK Prasad, who was the main selector until last year, said that they would look for consistency in the players of the team and keep them on standby as when they are in need they can take place in the national team as well. And, the example was in front of everyone that took place during India’s 2020-21 tour of Australia. While several players were suffering from injury concerns, the youngsters replaced them and India clinched the series as well.
“How did we identify those 60 players? [We looked for] consistent performers over the last two years in different formats, who will be the ideal successors for players who, four years down the line, might get superannuated in the senior team. For example, Murali Vijay. We had Mayank Agarwal and Priyank Panchal ready,” further added MSK Prasad.
“Earlier every bowler used to think from his mind-set and from his own trial-and-error methods. They would keep trying to do things, but today everything is pre-set and pre-programmed. You have a clear-cut plan, what sort of lines and lengths you have to bowl to a particular batter and which are the areas where he is weak,” he shared.
“They are sure of their bowling, they know how to get batsmen out, and they are fit enough to keep doing it. Earlier bowlers used to do well for two Tests, get injured and come back after two-three series. That is not happening anymore. Credit should be given to Shankar Basu and the other trainers and physios at the NCA,” concluded MSK Prasad.