Head coach Ravi Shastri feels the current Indian cricket team is undergoing a transitional phase and therefore the focus should be on blooding youth and strengthen the bench strength.

READ: How much is Shastri’s annual salary as India team head coach?

Last month Shastri retained his job as the head coach alongside Bharat Arun (bowling coach) and R Sridhar (fielding coach). However, there was one change to his coaching staff with Sanjay Bangar vacating the position of batting coach and replaced by Vikram Rathour.

Shastri’s second term as coach will continue till the 2021 T20 World Cup and for him, an odd series defeat is the price to be paid for building a team for the future.

“The vision is to keep the consistency level going,” Shastri told Gulf News. “It will be a team in transition and one has to keep an eye out for the youth and also keep an eye on developing the bench strength as far as batting and bowling goes across all three formats. We should, at the same time, be never losing sight of the fact that you play to win. Never losing that angle but yet at the same time, investing in youth.”

He added, “You might get the odd game or the odd series in which you might lose in the quest of investing but that is what you have to do to earn success. If you have to build a good side and keep it in good space for another five years to go, you need to do it.”

India began the post-world cup era an in an emphatic fashion, beating hosts West Indies across formats comprehensively. Their second assignment is a home series against South Africa that include a three-match T20I series followed by three Tests which are part of the ICC World Test Championship.

With three major events forming part of his tenure (back-to-back T20 World Cups and World Test Championship), building a solid team is during this phase will be Shastri’s major task.

“The path should be that knowing well you have got 12 months to go for the T20 World Cup and you have about 18-20 months to go for the World Test Championship. Getting youth in during that transition period by keeping an eye on the youth is important so that they can mix with the experience and give us a really solid side,” he said.

For the top-ranked Test team, Shastri says, the biggest goal is to keep justifying that tag. “We are playing at home (vs South Africa) and it is the World Test Championship – so now there is even more reason on why you have to play the way you should. There are now points to be accumulated. We are the No.1 team in the world and we have been for the last three years, so there is pride at stake as well,” he said.