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Rathour attributes youngsters' success to strong domestic foundation

Source: PTI
February 22, 2024 18:37 IST
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IMAGE: In the absence of senior players, the youngsters of the Indian team have made the most of the opportunity. Photograph: BCCI

The astonishing, inspiring and quick success of youngsters like Yashaswi Jaiswal and Sarfaraz Khan at the highest level is a good advertisement for the country's robust domestic circuit which has made them "cricket smart" who can handle Test match pressure, reckons India's batting coach Vikram Rathour.

Jaiswal is just six-Test old but the 22-year-old Mumbaikar already has two double hundreds under his belt. His expressive and fearless batting against a strong England side has earned him praise from the pundits of the game and fans alike.


His Ranji teammate Sarfaraz too has made a confident start to his Test career, scoring pacy half-centuries in both his innings in Rajkot on debut.

Sarfaraz had scored a monumental 439-run knock as a 12-year-old in a 2009 Harris Shield match, hinting at a bright future.

‘Great message coming from Indian domestic cricket’

"It is good for the team but it's better for them. Once you get to this level and start playing Test cricket, everything said and done, there are nerves, there is some pressure, but if you get a good start, nothing better than that," Rathour said on the eve of the fourth Test against England.

"And the young players who have come in the team have got a good start and it feels good. They have cricket intelligence in them, which is again a great sign. It's a great message, coming from Indian domestic cricket, that the new players are cricket smart."

Their performances have come at a time when Virat Kohli is not part of the gruelling five-match home series, KL Rahul could play only one game and Shreyas Iyer has been dropped for lack of form.

‘Good opportunity for young players’

"It is tough to miss key players, it's better for the team if everyone is available but a series like this is a good opportunity for the young players, who have played on these wickets to establish themselves.

"There is always belief that our domestic cricket is so strong, you are pretty assured that whoever comes has come through after doing good. We don't know what is going to happen when KL Rahul, Virat Kohli come back in. That is not a concern at the moment." 

‘He doesn’t become a bad player from two matches’

Rajat Patidar, though, is yet to seize the opportunity with just 46 runs from four innings. He too forced his way into the team on the back of a strong domestic season.

The Indian batting coach backed Patidar.

"We are having a lot of conversations with him but one thing he needs to understand is that this is how this game goes at this level. He doesn't become a bad player from two matches.

"He has really batted well in whatever cricket he has played. He has had a few tough games, a few awkward dismissals where the ball has stopped on him. Absolutely no doubt that he is a good player and on his day he will come up with a very impactful innings."

Rathour also hailed Ravindra Jadeja, the world No 1 all-rounder for coming good in the series. 

"He's always been a really, really good batsman, without any doubt. He keeps everything very simple. There is no complication. He's not overthinking, he's not over-analysing anything.

"He just does what the team requires at that stage and that goes for his bowling and batting both. So, I think it's a great asset that he has. Keeping it really simple and executing his plans,” said Rathour.

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