Wellington, Nov 17 () VVS Laxman, India’s head coach for the white-ball tour of New Zealand, wants to see his team play in the upcoming T20I series with a fearless attitude. But at the same time, he is hopeful of the side majorly packed with youngsters to assess the conditions and situations in order to fulfill the requirements of the team during the matches.
“T20 cricket requires playing with a lot of freedom and lot of clarity of thought. Whatever time I have spent with these guys and watching them grow over the years into wonderful international cricketers, that is their strength.”
“In T20 cricket, you are required to play with a fearless attitude but at the same time, it is important to assess the conditions and situations and fulfill the needs of the team. It is important to be flexible. In T20 cricket, you are required to express yourself and that is when you will be successful,” said Laxman in a pre-match press conference.
The three-match T20I series, starting at Sky Stadium in Wellington on Friday, also marks the beginning of India’s road to the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup, after suffering a semi-final exit in the showpiece event last week. In that match at Adelaide Oval, India were handed a ten-wicket thrashing by eventual champions England, a side full of multi-dimensional cricketers.
Laxman admitted that India might go the multi-dimensional route in T20 cricket in future. “T20 cricket has shown us over the years that the more amount of multi-dimensional players you have, the better for the team. You have bowlers who can bat, and batters who can bowl, and that is the way forward.”
“That has already been proven in T20 cricket, the more number of bowlers who can bat will add depth to the batting and it allows a lot of freedom for the batters to express themselves. That is the need for the format and I am sure that more and more teams will try to get that into their selection process and identify players who are multi-dimensional.”
With many regulars rested from the trip to New Zealand, Laxman is keen to see how the new top-order shapes up and performs in the series. “In T20 cricket, it’s important to be fearless. We have the guys who have this ability to express themselves. So that’s the message from the captain and myself: be aggressive, but also focus on conditions and situations, and use that experience.
“Yes, our regular top order of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli isn’t here. But the players who have been selected have played a lot of international cricket, especially T20 cricket.”
Though India haven’t won a major ICC trophy since 2013, their talent pool has been the envy of other major cricketing nations. Laxman believes the Indian team is fortunate to have tons of youngsters who can perform well at the international level, which gives first-choice players time to rest amidst a hectic international cricket schedule.
“There’s definitely a lot of cricket being played, there’s no doubt about that. India is very fortunate to have so many players to choose from. As team management and selection committee members, you have to be mindful of when to give breaks to certain players. Breaks are important for a player, to not only physically rejuvenate but also mentally.
“India is lucky to have that kind of bench, a pool of players to choose from. I think that will be the case going forward, especially in white-ball cricket, you require specialist players. Going forward, T20s will see a lot more T20 specialists. But managing their workload and choosing players from the pool we have is a blessing Indian cricket has.”