India head coach Ravi Shastri believes that the team needs to look at the T20 format from a ‘fresh perspective’ ahead of the World Cups in 2020 and 2021.
Shastri was on Friday retained as the India coach on a new two-year contract which runs until the 2021 T20 World Cup and the former all-rounder has outlined his targets for the team.
“There are two ICC T20 tournaments over the next two years, in 2020 and 2021,” Shastri told the Times of India in an interview.
“The Test championship cycle has begun, so that becomes top priority. We have a splendid Test side that’s stayed at the top of the rankings and needs to keep up that good work.
“In T20Is, we need to take a fresh perspective and consolidate on the fabulous talent we have.”
The India coach has called for a new approach in the T20 format for the Men in Blue and feels that the make-up of that squad could be vastly different from the current ODI setup.
“One-day cricket and T20s have vastly different identities and one cannot look at it through the mere lens of ‘white-ball cricket’,” said Shastri.
“T20 is a wholly different ballgame and that is how we are going to pursue it. At best four or maximum five cricketers from the present 50-over setup fit in a T20 perspective right now.
“We need to begin with that perspective and build on it.”
The 57-year-old is encouraged by the bench strength India has built over the past one year or so and believes plenty of more youngsters will be given a shot in the run up to the two T20 World Cups.
“Bench strength is everything if we’re looking at things from a long-term perspective. That constant flow of fresh, young talent has to be there. Be it Rishabh (Pant) or Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep (Yadav), Hardik (Pandya), Mayank Agarwal, Vijay Shankar – they’re there, constantly raising their hands up,” Shastri stated.
“That kind of a pool does wonders when the only objective is to ensure you don’t end up with, let’s say, any kind of deadwood.
“The same will happen as we go about building our T20 perspective. There’s quite a bit of a talent pool out there that needs constant tapping.”
Shastri is currently with the Indian team on their ongoing tour of the West Indies. Having prevailed in both the T20 and ODI clashes, India will now lock horns with the hosts in a two-match Test series beginning at Antigua on Thursday.
Steve Smith was ruled out of the final day of the second Ashes Test with concussion after the Australia batsman was struck in the neck by a 92mph Jofra Archer bouncer on day four.
Smith passed on and off-field concussion tests after being hit, returning to complete his innings after initially retiring hurt but looking shaken and unsteady during his brief return to the crease.
The 30-year-old was carefully assessed by medical staff through the night but reported “a bit of a headache and a feeling of grogginess” on waking.
Subsequent concussion testing showed a deterioration in Smith’s responses and he was withdrawn from the final day as a result.
All-rounder Marnus Labuschagne was approved as Test cricket’s first concussion substitute by match referee Ranjan Madugalle, meaning he is available to bat and bowl for the remainder of the game.
Smith will go for a precautionary scan on his neck and his chances of playing in next week’s third Test at Headingley appear remote given the return-to-play protocols governing head injuries.
“As part of the Cricket Australia concussion protocol, repeat concussion testing of Steve Smith was performed this morning and demonstrated some deterioration from his testing, which is consistent with the emergence of the symptoms he was reporting,” said a Cricket Australia statement.
“Cricket Australia statistics show that 30 per cent of concussions in Australian cricket are delayed.
“It is not uncommon for players to pass their tests and feel well on the day of an injury and then display symptoms 24 to 48 hours later.
“In terms of Steve’s availability for the third Test, this will be considered over the coming days but the short turnaround to the next Test is not in his favour. Steve’s fitness will be assessed on an ongoing basis.”
Provided by Press Association Sports
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne made his first century in 23 innings to help his side to a six-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first Test.
Karunaratne scored 122 from 243 balls and put on an opening partnership of 161 with Lahiru Thirimanne to give the hosts the ideal platform in their pursuit of 268 to win, well beyond the previous record chase in Galle of 99.
Thirimanne was the first man out after being trapped lbw by Will Somerville and Kusal Mendis made just 10 before being caught at midwicket, but by the time Karunaratne was caught behind off the bowling of Tim Southee his side needed just 50 to win.
Veteran Angelo Mathews made 28 not out from 73 balls and Kusal Perera struck five boundaries in a quickfire 23 as the home side tried to wrap up the win before lunch, something they achieved with the aid of two extensions from the umpires.
The second Test takes place from August 22-26 in Colombo.
Provided by Press Association Sport