Though fast bowlers Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh, who had a successful IPL 2022 season, were part of the Indian squad for the recent T20I series against South Africa at home, the duo warmed the bench as they failed to get a match.
Former India pacer Zaheer Khan, however, believes that just being a part of the squad is "extremely useful," as it allows young pacers to "pick on the brains" of veteran fast bowlers.
Sharing his views on the subject in interaction with Cricbuzz, Zaheer said, “When you're on tours, you usually have these get-togethers, you go there, you have conversations with bowlers, get to meet the opposition bowlers as well.”
He talked about his own experience of spending time with greats like Glenn McGrath and Wasim Akram.
"I remember having Jason Gillespie a McGrath for that matter, Wasim Akram. All these guys you had a conversation and you end up talking about bowling, what they used to do. How they used to approach the game.
“So those conversations go long way, it's not about the formal way of learning, but it's about learning through experience. So from that point of view, it always helps and if you are with the squad so from the motivation point of view it is a huge plus,” Zaheer added.
Umran was one of the major attractions in IPL 2022 and turned a lot of heads with his ability to clock upwards of 150 kmph consistently. The entire cricketing world also took note of his talent, and Zaheer believes that being in the Indian squad alone has given Umran the assurance that he was one step closer to achieving his dream of playing for the national side.
“For someone like Umran, he knows that he's one step closer to what he wants to achieve. So that makes a huge difference. If someone gets injured, you can get an opportunity. The series is going tough and management is looking at some other ways of staying ahead of tactics, you have a chance.
“So when you're with the team, it's always a big plus in terms of getting the motivation. So I think for someone like Umran this tournament has been of great help, knowing that he's just a step closer now,” he added.
India next will play two T20Is in Ireland and then a six-match white-ball series against England.