Former India head coach Ravi Shastri is of the opinion that Team India should move on from Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, and bring in youngsters into the T20I setup.
The likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma and Jitesh Sharma have impressed in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) so far, and all three of them are yet to make their Team India debuts in the shortest format.
Shastri said that Kohli and Rohit had proven themselves on the big stage, and they should focus on Tests and ODIs.
“First T20 series that comes up, play these guys [the youngsters], expose these guys. They [the selectors] should start blooding them right now,” Shastri said on ESPNcricinfo.
“Players like Rohit, Virat Kohli, they are proven, you know what they are all about. I would go in that [good performers in the IPL] direction so that they get the opportunities, they get the exposure, whilst you keep the Virats and the Rohits fresh for one-day cricket and Test cricket,” added the 60-year-old.
“Your focus there with that kind of experience should move to Test cricket, red-ball cricket for the future World Test Championship, and they stay fresh [so that] there is not too much of cricket where there is an overkill,” he further said.
With the 2024 T20 World Cup still a year away, Shastri said that players’ “current form” should be the basis of selection in the team.
“One year is a long time. Players can be in form, the form can disappear,” said Shastri.
“You will pick the best guys at the time, and then, of course, the experience will count, fitness will count. Who is hot at the moment, who is consistent, who has got the runs and where he has got the runs,” said the cricketer-turned-commentator.
Shastri has previously batted for Hardik Pandya to take over full time Team India captaincy, and he believes the all-rounder will have the right people around him when the time comes.
“Oh, you will get that right with Hardik. He’ll get that right where he will want his six bowlers including himself and players for the right numbers,” said the former Mumbai cricketer.
“Just seeing the way he has captained Gujarat Titans, you can see there is a player for a number and there is a role which he will take forward to the Indian team,” he added.
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