Following the recent debacle at the T20 World Cup, a lot of questions have been raised surrounding the futures of seniors like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli in the squad. Indian cricket has been blessed with the continued rise of exciting and promising talents and the future is expected to be bright.
However, Ricky Ponting believes that the seniors are unlikely to be replaced anytime soon. The former World Cup-winning captain of Australian said this during his recent interaction with The Grade Cricketer. When asked about whether India should fast-track talents like Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Padikkal who have performed so brilliantly in the IPL, Ponting mentioned that the the team can definitely make tweaks but only after keeping the spine intact.
“They had Ishan Kishan and Suryakymar Yadav in the squad, they are starting to bring a few younger guys in. Shreyas Iyer, he was one of the emergencies [sic] around the squad but you are not going to push Rohit Sharma out, Virat out or KL Rahul out. They have got Hardik Pandya in there, maybe if he’s not bowling, they can use one of those younger blokes in the middle order but yeah there’s just so many of them,” said Ponting.
The Delhi Capitals head coach mentioned that the current quandary arises only because there are so many talents in the Indian cricket eco-system that every time one of the seniors don’t perform, people want to see him being replaced by a younger player. “(They have) so many good young players that when one of their senior guys doesn’t go well you think ‘Better put these young blokes in’ but yeah, they have got too many that’s why these questions come up.”
The two-time ODI World Cup winning captain also believes that cramped schedule and exhaustion played a key role in India’s no-show at the T20 World Cup in UAE. The Indian team had been in a constant bio-bubble since the Test series against England in the summer and it was followed by a gruelling IPL campaign sandwiched in between the Test series and the T20 World Cup.
“Yeah, I think, they were just exhausted. I mean, their run, what they have had – you’ve got to understand where they have been. There whole country has been in lockdown and the last year’s IPL in the UAE, they played their domestic cricket at home, then went to England in between then straight into another bubble in the UAE, played there and then straight into the World Cup. Now they’ve got New Zealand two days after the World Cup,” concluded Ponting.