MUMBAI: Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has echoed Rahul Dravid’s opinions on there being no need for Indian players to play in overseas leagues.
With a strong domestic system in place, Shastri said, “we should focus on our country rather than looking elsewhere.”
There is a perception that Indian players, who are unable to compete in international leagues like the Big Bash League or the Hundred, are at a disadvantage against players from other nations, who have access to a wider variety of playing environments.
When asked about this after the T20 World Cup semi-finals game against England, Dravid acknowledged that some English players may have had an advantage due to their BBL experience in gauging the semi-finals venue Adelaide, better. He added the majority of these T20 competitions take place during India’s domestic season, making it challenging for Indian players to play in foreign leagues. Additionally, given how well-liked Indian athletes are worldwide, their involvement can be detrimental to domestic cricket.
“There is enough domestic cricket for all these players to get absorbed in the system and get an opportunity. Plus, you get these India A tours, and you get a lot of these other tours, where at one given time you might have two Indian teams playing in the future, where the opportunity will come for the other lot to go somewhere else whilst India is in another country – to go play and see what you know they can do,” Shastri said during a virtual interaction with the press facilitated by Amazon Prime Video.
Since there have been more India A tours in recent years, Shastri felt that the players have already received enough exposure through domestic cricket, the IPL, and these tours.
“So there’s no need [to play in overseas leagues], they’re absolutely fine playing IPL cricket and focusing on domestic cricket. We need them to play domestic cricket in India as well,” he added.
Following the World Cup in Australia, the selectors rested the senior players, leaving Hardik Pandya in charge of the Indian T20I team in New Zealand. The all-rounder took up the position for the first time in Ireland earlier this year after leading Gujarat Titans to victory in their first foray in the tournament.
After a disappointing T20 World Cup campaign Indian team is ready to lock horns with New Zealand in the first of a three-match T20I series on the Kiwi soil on Friday. (ANI)