Former BCCI selection committee chief MSK Prasad has stated that India should send a 26-man squad when they tour Australia, starting October. The two teams will play a three-match Test series, starting October 11, followed by which they are scheduled to play four Tests, starting December 3.
The 4-match Test series to be played during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia will start on December 3. The Test series will be sandwiched between three T20Is and as many One DayInternational fixtures. Ahead of the 1st Test, the tourists will undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period in Adelaide, which is the venue for the 3rd T20I.
In this regard, MSK Prasad stated that BCCI should send a full 26-man squad at once just as the West Indies and Pakistan boards did ahead of their England tour. Prasad said that believes that in this way the Indian brigade would be divided into two groups and a warm-up game could be carried out during their quarantine phase.
“The team management and seniors will have an opportunity to look at the youngsters who are knocking on the doors. In this process, you can also monitor those players who can be the potential guys for different spots in future,” Prasad told PTI.
“Even for our main bowlers, they will have fresh batsmen to bowl at unlike the same bunch of first-team boys. For instance, Shreyas Iyer is very aggressive and at times can be unorthodox. So, he might offer variety of skills which the Australian batsman might posses."
Moreover, with no domestic cricket in India before the start of the Ranji Trophy in December, players would lack practice ahead of the Test series. After all, according to Prasad, the IPL is but a T20 tournament and not the perfect way to prepare for an important Test series in Australia.
“Also, if the IPL (Indian Premier League) is going to happen prior to this series, then carrying a large contingent is better as we need to be ready with back ups in case somebody gets injured or is carrying the niggles from the IPL. The only tough part that we will be facing because of this large contingent is managing such a large pool of players. To provide quality practice sessions to all of them will also be a challenge,” he added.
“If the IPL is going to happen prior to this series, then the majority of these players would have played in it and then carrying extra players might become a debatable issue. But let’s not forget that the IPL is only a T20 tournament, which may not be ideal preparation for Test series.”