India’s stand-in skipper, Shikhar Dhawan has opined that the ODI series against South Africa could serve as preparation for India’s standby cricketers for the T20 World Cup 2022. The young-looking Indian team will take on South Africa in the first ODI on October 6 in Lucknow. Deepak Chahar, Shreyas Iyer, and Ravi Bishnoi are among the standby players named for the 50-over series.
During the press conference, ahead of the first ODI, Shikhar Dhawan said, “Of course, it is very important because the more matches they (standby players) are going to play, they will be in the better groove and a better mindset. If the boys perform well, then obviously the confidence will help them. Who knows they might get a chance so they can look at this series as preparation.”
The India team also includes a couple of new faces like Mukesh Kumar and Rajat Patidar, who earned their maiden call-ups, alongside uncapped players like Rahul Tripathi and Shahbaz Ahmed. Dhawan, who led India during the tours of Sri Lanka and West Indies, added that the exposure will help the youngsters grow.
💬💬 ‘We have a good squad and it is great to see fresh energy and enthusiasm among the new players in the side’ – #TeamIndia captain @SDhawan25 ahead of the #INDvSA ODI series 👍 pic.twitter.com/IxuwGy5BBF
— BCCI (@BCCI) October 5, 2022
Talking about the youngsters, Shikhar Dhawan said, “If you look at the performance of our youngsters, the transition that happened shows their confidence. The more they play the more experience they will get, and their confidence level will increase. They will learn from mistakes. Even for me as well. Keeping 2023 (World Cup) in mind, the more matches I play will be more beneficial for me.”
He further added, “The team is very good and with this team we played in West Indies and Zimbabwe. Most of the players are the same, there are one or two new players. We share a good tuning. The new boys have brought in new energy. They have been doing well in the last few series.”
The ODI series is part of the World Super League, with points up for grabs to qualify for the 2023 World Cup. India has automatically qualified for the showpiece event as they are the hosts. South Africa, who are placed in the 11th spot in the Super League table, would aim to earn points.