Rajkot, Despite losing the T20I series opener to Bangladesh, India captain Rohit Sharma said that the focus would still be on investing in youth and testing the team’s bench strength. India went down by seven wickets in Delhi, their first defeat to Bangladesh in the format.
With the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup less than a year away, the hosts gave opportunities to Deepak Chahar, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar, Khaleel Ahmed and Shivam Dube, to test their bench strength, in the absence of some of their top players.
“You need to understand that this is the format where we are trying a lot of players,” Rohit said, ahead of the second game in Rajkot. “The key players are not involved in this series, so we are trying the younger players who are there in the lot, sitting on the fringe. Probably, that is one of the reasons, to be honest, because in the other formats, we have our entire squad playing the game,”he said.
Rohit also said that making optimum use of the opportunities handed to them in T20I cricket is what will tune the youngsters up for the longer formats. “This is the format where these individuals can come out and express themselves, so that they are ready for ODI and Test cricket,” Rohit said. “We have seen a lot of players who have emerged from this format who have gone on to play ODI and Test formats also.
We want our bench strength to be as strong as possible.”Although India are seeing this series as an opportunity to continue with their selection experiments with one eye on next year’s showcase event, Rohit said winning was still