India’s head coach for the white-ball series against New Zealand VVS Laxman has said that the team should be aggressive in T20Is but must also take the conditions and situations into account. Laxman added there will be a spike in the requirement of specialists according to formats in the future.
After their semifinal exit in the T20 World Cup 2022, India and New Zealand are set to lock horns from November 18 in two white-ball series. The Indian team will miss the services of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul with an aim to manage their workload. Hardik Pandya will lead a young side in T20Is and a few of the players will have an opportunity to prove their worth for the national side. Also, head coach Rahul Dravid has been rested and VVS Laxman has stepped in for him.
Ahead of the T20I series, Laxman has revealed that he wants the team to play an aggressive brand of cricket but also show situational awareness.
"In T20 cricket, it's important to be aggressive, and we have the guys who have this ability to express themselves. So that's the message from the captain and myself: be aggressive, but also focus on conditions and situations, and use that experience,” Laxman said on the eve of opening T20I, reported ESPNcricinfo.
"Yes, our regular top order of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli isn't here, but the players who have been selected have played a lot of international cricket, especially T20 cricket."
The international cricket calendar has been jam-packed in recent years. However, India have coped with the possible problems of fatigue by resting their key players regularly. India also have a great talent pool to choose from which has enabled them to send different teams in different series. Laxman reflected on the issue by commenting that the breaks are necessary for a cricketer to rejuvenate physically and mentally. He added that there will be a rise in the requirement of specialists for each format in the future.
"India is very fortunate to have so many players to choose from. As a team management and selection committee member, you have to be mindful of when to give breaks to certain players. Breaks are important, to not only physically rejuvenate but also mentally,” Laxman explained.
"India is lucky to have that kind of bench, a pool of players to choose from. I think that will be the case going forward, especially in white-ball cricket, you require specialist players. Going forward, in T20s you will see a lot more T20 specialists, but managing their workload and choosing players from the pool we have is a blessing Indian cricket has."
Laxman has already worked with Hardik Pandya in the Ireland series earlier this year. The all-rounder led Gujarat Titans to IPL title last season amidst much praise and would be looking forward to captaining the team to a victory against New Zealand. Even Laxman has lauded Pandya’s leadership, mentioning his temperament on the field.
"He's a fabulous leader. We've seen what he has done at Gujarat in the IPL. Someone taking on the leadership role in the first year itself and winning the Cup is no mean achievement. I have spent time with him from the Ireland series. He is not only tactically good but also very calm on the field. That's very important when you're playing at the highest level, because there will be situations where you will be under pressure. That's when as a leader you have to be calm,” Laxman concluded on the matter.