MSK Prasad: ‘15 pacers identified for the future’

Prasad felt the exposure trips in the different alien ambiance, climate and playing conditions will help the new crop of bowlers blossom into quality competitors.

Prasad said the team for Champions Trophy will be picked in the month of April and acknowledged the brilliant performances by wicket-keeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik and Shikar Dhawan in the Deodhar Trophy at Visakhatpatnam.   -  PTI

The senior National selection committee chairman M.S.K. Prasad on Wednesday said that 15 medium-pacers had been identified for the future and the much-needed exposure tours would begin with the India ‘A’ fixtures in the coming months.

Speaking to Sportstar on the sidelines of a sports boutique inauguration here, he said the 15 bowlers included five left-armers. “All are clocking 140 plus and have the wherewithal to shine as frontline bowlers. This lot will give a serious fight to the existing bunch,” he pointed out.

Prasad said, after the stupendous success at home, the focus would be on winning Tests abroad. “After Champions Trophy in June, we will be playing a three-Test series in South Africa, Australia and England. Along with the existing bunch, this new crop of bowlers will be in the contention.

“We will be playing Sri Lanka in a three-Test series in August, but since it would be played in conditions that are similar to India, the emphasis will be more on temperament and attitude,” he said.

Exposure trips

He felt the exposure trips and playing in alien ambience, climate and conditions would help the new crop of bowlers blossom into quality competitors.

Prasad said the team for the Champions Trophy would be picked later this month and acknowledged the brilliant performances by wicket-keeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik and Shikhar Dhawan in the Deodhar Trophy at Visakhapatnam.

“But we cannot take the performance of a recently-concluded tourney alone into consideration for ICC fixtures. We need to consider the performances for at least 18 months.”

Prasad said the India ‘A’ team for the South Africa tour would have players who had put up encouraging performances in the recently-concluded Emerging Trophy tournament in Dhaka.

He said allowing injured players to travel along with the team during the domestic series boosted their morale and confidence and cited the example of medium-pacer Mohammed Shami, who had injured his knee during the third Test against England in November. “He was able to get the best physiotherapy. Though these players weren’t in the dressing room, they were practising and training with the team.”