India ready to test bench strength in future ODIs, says Sridhar
India’s fielding coach R Sridhar was in the pre-match presentation to voice his opinion about players who are warming the bench in the Indian cricket team. He further added that the management is looking forward to testing the bench strength in the upcoming ODIs so that each and every player would be fit and ready for this year’s ICC 50-over World Cup which is months away from the blistering pace.
The fielding coach is mighty pleased with the team’s all-round performance so far. “Winning is a habit that you want to continue and don’t want a let down on intensity but we need to give game time to our reserves with just seven games remaining before the World Cup,” Sridhar echoed ahead of India’s fourth ODI against New Zealand which is to be played at Seddon Park, Newlands on Thursday.
“We shouldn’t be in a situation going into the World Cup where the main XI has played and the reserves have not got enough game time when (it might happen that) they have to suddenly play a crucial game during World Cup. That is what the team management will be thinking I am sure,” Sridhar said.
“There is no better place than New Zealand to simulate the conditions of England in June. So we would like to surely create a situation where we give game time to our reserves,” the former first-class cricketer added in a statement.
During the current season, the Indian team has won ODI series in South Africa, Australia and now New Zealand with their only ODI series defeat coming in England.
The experience and performance of the bowling unit are two things in the team’s set-up that have made a huge difference, suggests the fielding coach.
“All the pieces are falling together. It’s quite an experienced unit and if you see the top six players, they have all been there from 2013 Champions Trophy (in England),” said a visibly satisfied Sridhar.
“India was always a fabulous batting country but now bowlers have started picking wickets throughout different phases of the match. Whether it’s Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and (Mohammed) Shami or the leggies (Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal), they have done it in South Africa, against Australia and now, here,” Sridhar waxed eloquent.
“Apparently, they (Kuldeep and Chahal) have picked 100 wickets between them in 24-25 games which is magnificent. The most important phases of the game has been taken care of. Then we have excellent death bowlers in terms of Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and (Jasprit) Bumrah,” he added.
“The experience of the side, combined with fitness and bowling has gone 10 notches higher, making it look like a complete unit and it augurs very well for us going into the World Cup. This team under Virat Kohli and now with Rohit Sharma as captain has played some of its best (ODI) cricket in last three years,” he exuded confidence.