I would sit with selectors to find about red-ball performance: Ravi Shastri questions IPL route to Test team

Written by Shreyas Vyas

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri emphasised the importance of succession planning as he believes there is a pool of talented youngsters ready to make their mark. Shastri acknowledged that while India have a surplus of young white-ball players due to the Indian Premier League (IPL), careful consideration should be given before automatically promoting them to the red-ball format.

Shastri highlighted the significance of red-ball records, the quality of opposition faced, conditions played in, and the temperament of players. He emphasised that temperament is a key factor in Test cricket, as players need to display resilience and a willingness to confront challenging situations.

“There are seniors ready to be phased out and there are youngsters ready. No question about it when it comes to T20 cricket. Lesser in 50-over cricket and even fewer in Tests,” Shastri told The Week.

“Because of the IPL, you see an abundance of high-quality, young, white-ball players. But, one should not get carried away by that and think they should be automatic red-ball choices. No, I would rather see the red-ball record. I would sit with the selectors and find out more about who the [red-ball performances] were against, in what conditions, what are their strengths, what is the temperament of the bloke like.

“For me, temperament is key. It is paramount. Does the guy have the stomach for a fight? When it gets hot in the kitchen, is he is ready to bite the bullet? These are qualities I look for in a [Test] player. When I use the word fearless as a coach, these are the qualities that make a fearless cricketer. Backing his own ability and his strengths, and not wavering.”

India’s depth of talent across formats was seen as an advantage by Shastri. He stressed the need for a strong bench strength, which would provide the team with a competitive edge and ensure a smooth transition as senior players phase out.

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Shreyas Vyas