MSK Prasad believes Indian team can dominate world cricket for next five years

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MSK Prasad believes Indian team can dominate world cricket for next five years

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SportsCafe Desk


MSK Prasad has put his weight behind Team India predicted that they will be an irresistible force for the next five years in world cricket. The selector's committee Chairman also added that the selectors take pride in rewarding domestic performances by giving players a chance in the national team.

Virat Kohli has led the team by example – starting with scoring runs at will to making fitness as a prime regime in the team to playing the game on the edge - with passion and his not-giving-an-inch attitude. His passion has rubbed on the team as well and results have come pouring in, with India’s nine consecutive Test series wins is a testimony to the same. However, with the tours like South Africa, England, and Australia approaching, the Indian team will be pushed to the limit in 2018. MSK Prasad, the chief of the national selection committee, however, believes that the team can create history and dominate world cricket for next half a decade.

“The batting failure in the Dharamshala ODI can be looked as a one-off thing for different reasons. This team is capable of producing much better performances under even more trying conditions and not just at home. What is forgotten is that we are playing more at home because of the FTP and not by choice,” Prasad told the Hindu.

“We are eagerly awaiting the away series in South Africa, England and Australia next year. The Kohli-led team has the right balance to dominate the scene for the next five years. The confidence and consistency in 2016 and 2017 should help the team’s cause in a big way.”

Recently, there is a fresh whiff of air with how A-cricket has been approached in India after the involvement of Rahul Dravid with the 'A' and Under-19 teams since 2015. And the decision to extend his contract until the end of 2019 brings about a sense of longevity, something that hadn't been seen in the past. In the past four years, while India A has hosted Australia A twice and traveled Down Under last year, South Africa A have come visiting once while India A, earlier this year, played two four-day games in Potchefstroom and Pretoria. Last month, New Zealand A played two four-day games and a five-match one-day series in Vijaywada and Visakhapatnam. The selectors have also rewarded the good performers by giving them a chance in the national team and made sure that everyone has an opportunity to don the national colours.

“The idea of giving chances to the others is to widen the base of players who can rise up to the expectations at the highest level.The fact that world-class players like K.L. Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane are not getting a chance in the playing eleven reflects the quality of the bench strength we have.

“We take pride in having given youngsters, like Shreyas Iyer, big opportunities in the last two years based on their domestic performances. The same principle holds good even for Parthiv (Patel) and Karthik (Dinesh). Or else, what is the use of domestic cricket,” he explained.

“Let me remind you that since we put in process a system that recognises performers, we (selection panel) have been respected a lot. The best part is that we always kept the channels of communication open with the players and the Indian team management as we feel we are extended family-members; this is why the Indian team is showing a great sense of unity and collective responsibility,” he added.

There's special emphasis now being put by Kohli and the Indian team management on the fitness of players. When Anil Kumble was the coach of the team, the players were encouraged to take their time while recovering, prove their fitness in domestic games and then make a comeback. With Ravi Shastri now being the head coach, things seem to have changed with the Yo-Yo test being considered enough to test the fitness of the player. 

On being asked about the rigidity of the same, Prasad said, “The most impressive facet of this Indian team is its commitment and high fitness levels despite such a gruelling season featuring 13 Tests and so many ODIs.

“Virat Kohli leads by example by setting new benchmarks or else how can he score consistently at the highest level.”

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