Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra heaped praises on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah for his confidence in India’s bench strength.
Jay Shah Had Backed India’s Bench Strength
Last year, in 2021, the fans witnessed two different teams play simultaneously. While Virat Kohli led his squad in England, on the other end, Shikhar Dhawan was leading a second-string team of India on a tour to Sri Lanka. At that time Jay Shah had said that cricket fans might get to see a similar kind of situation in the future, as they would always have 50 players on their roster at a time.
Over the last few years, phenomenal talent on the bench has helped the Indian board during multiple tours at the same time or in case of injuries to players.
Jay Shah had said: “I have had discussions with NCA head VVS Laxman and we will always have 50 players in our roster. In the future, you will have a scenario, where the Indian Test team will be playing a series in one country and the white-ball team will be engaged in a series in a different country. We are going in that direction where we will have two national teams ready at the same time,”
Aakash Chopra raised doubts over Jay Shah’s statement
However, Aakash Chopra has raised doubts over his statement saying that it should be taken with a pinch of salt. He said:
“Our Honorable BCCI Secretary Jay Shah had said that with the help of VVS Laxman, who is the head at NCA, they are preparing a pool of 50 players. With such depth, you feel proud as an Indian. But you need to take this with a pinch of salt,”
Aakash Chopra gave the example of the tour to Sri Lanka in 2021, where many youngsters made their debut. Chopra said that India didn’t have a fruitful tour as they just won the ODI series 2-1, and lost the T20I series 1-2. He said:
“India had sent a second-string side to Sri Lanka where the likes of Chetan Sakariya, Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad made their debuts. After whatever happened on that tour, we were very bullish that we would field two teams and win everywhere,”
“But India couldn’t win a single game in South Africa in 2022. So suddenly you realized that the depth you are talking about may not be really there. That was like a reality check,” Chopra further added.