Pick best players and give them consistent opportunities: Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly (left) and Virat Kohli (AFP Photo)

Sourav Ganguly has cautioned the Indian cricket team to not looking too far ahead into the future and advised them to identify top talents and give them a consistent run.

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Post the 50-overs world cup, India’s next target is building a group of players that they hope will bring them a second ICC T20 World Cup title, a tournament that is to be played next year in Australia. The process for that has already gotten underway with the T20I series against West Indies in August. The second stop in that campaign is a home series against South Africa which began on a damp note as the opening match in Dharamsala on Sunday was washed out due to rain. The second contest of the three-match series will be played on Wednesday in Mohali.

Ganguly’s comments come days after captain Virat Kohli had asserted that those hoping to make the cut for the T20 World Cup next year can expect only three-five matches to prove themselves. “Both India and South Africa are setting on a new path of finding young talent to take their teams forward,” Ganguly wrote in his column for The Times of India. “India started the process after the 2019 World Cup from the West Indies tour and have a few youngsters in the mix already, whom the selectors believe should be given a proper break, keeping in mind the big target.”

He continued, “The most important thing for India is to not look at the World T20 next year. Before the last World Cup there was too much noise about it and that sometimes is not good. What they need to do is pick the best possible players and give them consistent opportunities, as there is some serious talent in the domestic circuit.”

Ganguly says the Indian team has plenty of options in both the bowling and batting departments and the upcoming youngsters can model their development on the lines of fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah who has became indispensable across formats.

“The bowling department has some bright prospects. Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini look promising and India need to look after them so that they develop the way Bumrah has. These guys, with time and maturity, will see Bumrah, Bhuvi, Shami as their role models and this will be a healthy sign for Indian fast bowling. Spinners like Rahul Chahar, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep, Chahal will also keep everyone on their toes,” Ganguly wrote.

KL Rahul, who was recently dropped from the Test squad following indifferent run, is also under pressure to keep his spot in limited-overs cricket especially after Shreyas Iyer has proved himself at international level.

“The batting department has some exciting faces. All that they need is the freedom to express themselves. Shreyas Iyer finds a place in the T20 squad, a reward for his good show in the 50 overs games in West Indies. With Rohit and Shikhar at the top as the best possible opening pair, K L Rahul will be pushed,” he said.