When Ravi Shastri was reappointed as India's head coach, he stressed on the importance to view ODI and T20I cricket differently. He also spoke about how he plans to introduce new players to the shortest format and give them a long rope to find their feet. Hence, when the selectors picked the T20I squad to take on England, there were few surprises when Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were left out of the 15-member squad.
On the eve of the first T20I match in Dharamsala, captain Virat Kohli spoke about the reasons behind the exclusion of the two bowlers, who are permanent fixtures in India's ODI squad.
The skipper said that the decision was taken to increase the depth in India's lower batting order which has become a norm with the other teams all around the globe.
'About finding the best balance'
"The increased depth in batting was one of the reasons why Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were excluded. Also, we wanted to give opportunities to the guys who have done well over the last couple of years in domestic cricket and in IPL. It is about finding the best balance in the combination and not just sticking to only one combination," he said.
Kohli also said that the decisions were taken keeping in mind the balance of the side and that there were people who ensured greater batting depth.
"If all teams in the world are batting till 9 and 10, then why can't we. So, you need to take those calls at some stage. Bringing both those guys together was also not a decision taken by people at one stage. All the decisions are made to ensure that the team has the strongest balance that we can have," the skipper further added.
After the previous series against West Indies, the captain said that it was exciting to see young players come into the side and express themselves which made his job as a leader extremely easy.
Kohli further went on to say that seeing new guys expressing themselves on the field is exciting for a captain and team management. "Every time you are approaching a world tournament, you treat it as a milestone and start preparing backwards. Each team has the same process. We have around 30 games before the T20I World Cup. The first couple of series are an opportunity to try and see what our best combination could be," he said.
India will lock horns with South Africa in the first T20I in Dharamsala which is part of a 3-match Test series. Keeping in mind the T20 World Cup next year, few crucial selection calls are expected to be made.