Team India have been a part of lots of ups and downs in the last year where they thrashed South Africa (ODIs) and Australia at their home while were decimated by England in the Test series by 4-1. Now, the team is dominating New Zealand on their own soil in the ODI series with an unassailable 3-1 lead with one match to spare.
With a lot of youngsters like Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant stepping up in the team and grabbing their spot in place of some senior players and performers from the domestic circuit like Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari playing to their true potential at the senior level, Indian cricket is looking quite safe under Virat Kohli's leadership.
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In an interview with Cricbuzz, chairman of India's selection committee MSK Prasad was asked,"How do you look at a lot of players having come in through the IPL and then become Test regulars from Pandya to Bumrah?"
To which he said, "Well, IPL is a premier Indian tournament that has the best players playing from across the world. The fierce competition that this tournament offers is phenomenal. Players performing consistently will definitely catch the eye. Having said that, we pick players from IPL only for T20 format and from there on to ODIs, if they are living up to the expected standards. After being picked from the IPL, it's up to the players on how keen they are in learning the tricks of the trade that different formats of the game offer. If they learn to adapt, then they can play any format. It is very similar to the days gone by where players who used to perform exceedingly well in Ranji got noticed by the selectors, and when they were thrown into the other formats, they used to excel too. Once noticed and recognised in one format, it's all about how the players adapt to the demands of the other formats of the game."
The Men in Blue are currently one of the most balanced sides with a strong bench which includes the back-up option of almost all the players excluding fast-bowling allrounder Hardik Pandya. Team management have tried Vijay Shankar in his place but he was not as effective and that makes the Baroda player one of the MVPs of the Indian team alongside Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma.
On the importance of Pandya in the quality Indian pace attack, Prasad said, "Hardik Pandya definitely adds huge strength to the team's balance. He brings in that additional strength to all three departments (batting, bowling and fielding). He has an abundance of talent, which he needs to realise and convert into match-winning performances."
India will play the last match of the five match ODI series against New Zealand on Sunday in absence of regular skipper Kohli. Stand-in skipper Rohit has a tough road ahead in the fifth ODI after facing a heavy defeat in Hamilton by 8 wickets.