MSK Prasad, the chairman of the senior selection committee talked about fitness in Indian cricket, new spinners for limited overs cricket and how India is going to use R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the coming future?
Prasad was present at Eden Gardens during the Ranji Trophy semifinal between Karnataka and Vidarbha and gave an interview to The Indian Express.
Talking about the two new wrist spinners, Chahal and Kuldeep, along with other new spin bowlers in the limited-overs set-up, Prasad said, "It had got nothing to do with the Champions Trophy. We wanted to increase the bench strength in our spin department. Like how we have enough openers now… Then we are trying to strengthen our middle order. We have enough fast bowlers now. So we want to increase the bench strength of each and every department. That’s the reason we started giving opportunities to youngsters and they have grabbed them with both hands, and it makes sense to give them an extended rope."
MSK Prasad also spoke about the future of Ashwin and Jadeja in limited overs cricket for India.
Here's what he had to say: "absolutely; doors are open for both of them. There are no hard and fast rules. They are always there; they have done so much for the Indian team. So there’s always a scope to come back. It’s just that the youngsters are being given an opportunity. It makes, even more, sense to give them an extended rope and try them against the best of the opponents and see where they stand."
Indian team has raised their bar of requirement in fitness to be eligible for the Indian team. Every player needs to pass the Yo-Yo fitness test to be able to qualify for Team Indian selection. But what if a young player is very talented, but not ‘yo-yo’ fit, will he miss the bus?
Prasad answered, "See, cricket itself is a skill-based game. Because they are skillful players, they are representing the country. We can never say that fitness has to precede skill. But the issue is that, if fitness adds to skill then one can perform in tough conditions for an extended period of time. If you see the example of our captain, Virat, there’s no doubt about his skill. Now fitness has added (to that) and he is breaking one record after another. And if you see the top sportsmen across the globe today, whether it’s Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, or any other top sportsman, it’s the fitness which adds to their skill. And it makes them champions. So Virat, or the team management, or all of us – we want to see that the Indian team achieves many more good results for the country.
"If fitness adds to their skills, we can do that. That’s the reason why these parameters are fixed and the whole country knows these parameters. So now, the youngsters who are coming up will know where they stand and (will) add some more fitness to their already existing skill level." replied MSK Prasad.