On the eve of the second T20I against Bangladesh in Rajkot, India’s stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma said that the shortest format is where emerging players should be tried out before moving to ODIs and Tests.
As compared to Tests and ODIs, India’s T20I record isn’t quite impressive. In 2019, the Men in Blue have won only one T20I series against the West Indies while they have lost to New Zealand and Australia besides playing 1-1 drew with South Africa.
Even in the ongoing three-match series against Bangladesh, India trail 0-1 having lost the first T20I in Delhi by 7 wickets.
"This is the format where we are trying a lot of players. The key players are not involved (in this series) so we are trying the younger players who are sitting on the fringe. That is one of the reasons, because in other formats we have our entire squad playing," Rohit stated at the pre-match press conference when enquired why the Indian team was not successful in T20Is as compared to other two formats.
The captain further stressed on grooming players through the shortest format for tougher challenges ahead.
"This is the format where you can try (new players), and there is no harm in doing that. We have seen a lot of players who have emerged from this format, who have gone on to play ODI and Test formats," Rohit remarked.
"We want our bench strength to be as strong as possible. This is probably the reason why you see so many new guys coming into the fray and playing," he added.
While blooding youngsters into the team is fairly important, winning the match remains to be the main priority.
"Having said that, it does not mean that we have to not win matches. We have to win, that is the first priority. But these guys will learn from it. That is how all of us want, including myself and the other guys who started playing T20 format first and went on to play ODI and Test cricket.
"I think that is how it happens and as I said we just want our bench strength to be very, very strong. This is the format (T20) to try all these guys who are emerging," Rohit concluded.
(With PTI inputs)