“Surya will replace Shreyas…”: Former Indian Selector MSK Prasad Provided Surya And Shami’s Role In Indian Team For ODI World Cup 2023

India has set the stage on fire in the ICC World Cup 2023. Winning all three initial games, they are perched at the points table’s summit. Yet, it’s not just the victories that are turning heads; it’s the astute management of players based on the match conditions that capture the cricketing world’s attention.

One of the most remarkable aspects of India’s campaign has been their ability to tailor the playing XI to suit specific match conditions. The strategy has been the hallmark of their success in this tournament.

Ravichandran Ashwin was included in the playing XI for this encounter. Chennai’s pitch conditions favoured spin, and Ashwin’s prowess in the spin department was brought to the forefront.

However, the game plan shifted when the team transitioned to venues like Delhi and Ahmedabad, characterized by pace-friendly wickets. Shardul Thakur, an impressive fast bowler, was drafted into the XI. Adapting and choosing the right players for the right conditions has been pivotal to India’s success in these games.

While India’s strategy seems to be firing on all cylinders, there have been discussions and anticipation about fast bowler Mohammad Shami’s inclusion in the playing XI. Surprisingly, Shami hasn’t made an appearance in the tournament thus far.

Amid this talk, and with Shardul Thakur experiencing challenges on the field, many wonder when Mohammad Shami might get his chance to shine.

Enter MSK Prasad, the former Indian selector with a unique team strategy perspective. According to him, Shami’s moment will come, but it’s not just about arbitrarily slotting him into the team.

He explains, “They are using horses for courses, and it is working fantastically well for the team. If you see, they used Ashwin in Chennai and Shardul for the other two games (in Delhi and Ahmedabad). Last game, Shardul was not required as the others did the job (he bowled only two overs).”

MSK Prasad’s vision is clear: Shami will likely come into the picture when another fast bowler, Mohammed Siraj, is rested. This way, the team’s rotation strategy ensures that every player is utilized when their strengths align with the conditions.

In the current Indian setup, replacements are crystal clear for each position. The team can call on players like Suryakumar Yadav to replace Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan for Shubman Gill, and Shardul Thakur when playing on flat tracks.

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Even the spin department has its specialist, with Ashwin stepping in when the pitch conditions favour spin. This clarity in player roles and readiness for suitable replacements is a testament to India’s strategic planning.

The conversation doesn’t stop at bowlers alone. It extends to all-rounders, with Hardik Pandya’s role coming under scrutiny. MSK Prasad quickly points out that expecting Hardik to bowl ten overs in every game is unrealistic. However, his contributions, which often involve bowling 5-6 overs per match, are deemed more than satisfactory. This balanced approach allows the team to maximize Hardik’s impact.

In the end, what’s clear is that the Indian team management has defined the roles of every player. Whether it’s a top-order batsman, a fast bowler, or an all-rounder, each player knows their responsibility and is ready to step in when the conditions are in their favour.

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