India had all the momentum after they won the T20I series 5-0, but then ceded groud when New Zealand bounced back and clinched the ODI series 3-0. Now, the focus shifts to Test cricket and for India – the number 1 side in the world, there are a few gaps that need to be plugged. For starters, they have to pick the best possible XI and work around the spate of injuries and head coach Ravi Shastri believes this gives the younger players around the group a chance to step up and be counted.
”We’ve taken it on the chin. Close to five of our core players have been missing due to injuries and it’s been hard on them and the team as well. Bhuvneshwar would’ve been extremely useful, across formats, here. Ishant takes up so much of the workload upon himself in Tests, so that gets shared now. It’s been hard on everyone. But then, injuries happen and it’s a long road ahead,” Shastri told Times of India.
The head coach was all praise for young players like Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill and believes both these batsmen are phenomenal talents who will be great for the side. He is convinced that Shubman Gill is here to stay and will be around for a long time.
“What a wonderful talent. I have been watching him closely for two years now and the way he’s gone about it, it was only a matter of time before he got here. Whether or not he plays in this Test (Wellington), we know for sure that he’s here to stay,” he said.
Speaking about Prithvi, Shastri said that it was up to the young batsman to make full use of the challenges at hand.
“It’s great to have Prithvi back. The more time he spends with the team, the faster he’ll get back into the groove. He’s a phenomenal talent and he has the best available opportunity to make use of it. The challenge therefore lies with the cricketer too, as to how he takes it up and works his way forward. I’m sure he’ll make the most of it,” he said.