Ravi Shastri hopeful of a lot of positive influence on selection as Hardik Pandya has big say

Mumbai: With Hardik Pandya’s “big say” in selection decisions, former India head coach Ravi Shastri anticipates a lot of fresh faces in India’s T20 World Cup team in 2019.

The phasing out process began following a poor semi-final loss in the 2017 global meet in Australia, while players like Test and ODI skipper Rohit Sharma and ace batter Virat Kohli still play in T20.

“I think they will (look in a new direction),” Shastri told ESPN Cricinfo.

“The T20 World Cup is approaching, and young people have a lot of skill. We have witnessed some exciting new talent in the IPL this year. There won’t be a new team, just fresh faces. As India’s current captain, Hardik would remain in that position unless he becomes unwell, according to the former all-rounder for India.

Shastri believes that the forthcoming competition will play out similarly to the 2007 World Cup, when India competed with a young, somewhat inexperienced side led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

He (HP) would have a lot of options, his views will be different, and he would have played in the IPL and watched a lot of other players in the role of IPL captain. “Now they would pursue the 2007 T20 World Cup way and find potential.

He said, “Obviously, he is the only one who would accompany these men to the park, so anything he says needs to be taken seriously.

But Shastri also wants everyone to be clear about their priorities.

“Don’t even consider the T20 World Cup until the ODI World Cup is over; you’ll have time for T20s after that.”

Shastri believes that Hardik makes the greatest decisions when he is well and taking the initiative.

He remarked, “He is really confident in his own talents, and the fact that he is healthy today, makes a huge difference.

According to Shastri, the IPL will undoubtedly influence how India’s T20 resources are arranged the next year.

“In my opinion, one should lead their state in Ranji before leading in Test matches. The IPL is also your largest domestic T20 competition.

“It’s a terrific place to put a guy’s temperament to the test against strong competition. Quality is much greater (than SMAT or Hazare) here, so you take that into consideration and look at who’s running which franchise and who’s succeeding.

“Hardik doesn’t have a lot of work”

Those who follow Indian cricket events are aware that junior Pandya may never play Test cricket again since he has to maintain his career following a significant lower back operation.

Shastri believes that even if he bowls, the workload won’t be too heavy since he now competes in both ODIs and T20Is.

When asked whether Pandya’s bowling workload would be important, Shastri said, “Not really, and I will explain why.

“The (ODI) World Cup is in October. After the IPL, they might play 4-5 matches without playing any cricket. Not that he is competing in three different forms. You have Test matches, and when the Test series starts, he is given a month to relax, according to Shastri.

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