Sydney, Jan 6 : While Covid-19 led to a loss of cricket and forced teams into strict quarantine conditions when they resumed playing, it also turned into a blessing in disguise for the Indian team which did not need to summon replacements for the injured players from back home.
Instead, they could call upon players who have been part of the squad for the last one-and-a-half months.
The Indian team travelled to Australia with a large 25-member contingent two weeks before the start of the tour. The squad also included net bowlers, and those who were part of the limited-overs squads but also doubled up as net bowlers for India’s Test batsmen.
A couple of those, Shardul Thakur and T. Natarajan, eventually made it to the Test squad after Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav were injured during the first and second Test matches, respectively. Kartik Tyagi too has stayed back and is busy helping out the players.
Though neither Thakur and Natarajan have been included in the playing XI as first-choice Test bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini, who were part of the long-format squad from the onset, have been given first preference, the back-up they provide can come in handy.
A stay of over one-and-a-half months in Australia may have given them plenty of insight into the conditions.
India’s stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane said on Wednesday, “It is good to have problem of plenty. Because of this Covid-19 life, in the future the team will actually travel with 20-22 players on the tour. Whoever is in the team, it is all about quality. I think it is all about backing your players and giving them confidence as captain.”
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.