Keshav Maharaj is impressed by India’s bench strength, South Africa’s victory in the first ODI at Lucknow notwithstanding.
“I wouldn’t call this a second-string Indian side and I think India is blessed with so much talent that it could field four (or) five international sides,” Maharaj said on the eve of the second ODI match, to be played at the JSCA Stadium on Sunday.
“A lot of the Indian players (here) have the IPL (Indian Premier League) and international experience. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson are world class performers.”
The left-arm spinner said the idea of fielding a second team, like India has done in the current ODI series, was something that could be looked at in the future from the player-management point of view, given the amount of cricket being played at present.
“That is of course left to the coaching and medical staff,” he said.
Maharaj backed his fellow-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, who was targeted for the harshest treatment by the Indian batters.
“I don’t think he had a bad day, the bowling figures are not really reflective of it,” he said.
“The Indian batters had to take someone on and unfortunately, it was him on the day. I thought he held his nerve really nicely at the back end and picked up a crucial wicket at the time to give us an opening. We know what he is capable of and it is not a concern for us. And it is only a matter of time before he bounces back.”