Hayden says Tilak Varma’s inclusion is a good thing for India

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As Team India starts their preparation for the upcoming Asia Cup, former Australia player, Matthew Hayden is quite happy with the Indian squad.

Moreover, he says that the inclusion of youngsters is a great move by the BCCI.

Additionally, he has also stated that youngsters will put pressure on the senior players and allow them to be ‘honest’.

Says Hayden,

We’ve seen the class of Tilak Varma. I think it’s a good strategy in terms of not just this World Cup but even potentially getting into the next World Cup as well.

Adding further, he says,

The great thing about India is it’s got a really solid one-two-three combination. Similar to Australia actually, when you look at their last four or five months, they’ve had a really good and strong- what we like to call it- the engine room. And then they’ve got some good problems to solve through the middle order.

Furthermore, Hayden says,

And if they can fill spots with talented players like Tilak Varma, put pressure on someone like Suryakumar Yadav, I think that’s a good strategy. Keep everyone honest in the side and performing. So not a bad move. I think it’s a great side.

Meanwhile, Varma has yet to play an ODI for India and his big opportunity is just around the corner.

Additionally, Hayden feels that the inclusion of youngsters and making them play is a great thing.

As we all have seen, many senior players have been injured in the past couple of years. For example, Jasprit Bumrah has returned after a span of 11 months off the field.

He is currently leading the Indian team in Ireland for the T20I series the visitors have won 2-0.

On the other hand, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are also on the path to full recovery.

Hayden speaks on the injuries incurred by India’s players

Meanwhile, Hayden says that youngsters get more opportunities which is a big positive for India.

In the landscape of modern cricket now, you’re going to get injuries. We’ve seen that with Jasprit Bumrah and we’ve seen the emergence of players in and around him that have had an opportunity because he hasn’t been playing. They look at their bench strength as much as they look at their playing make-up because ultimately you’re going to be challenged.

Talking about his playing days, Hayden recalls,

When I look back at the World Cup campaigns that I was a part of, I remember [Shane] Warne was out with a drug-related incident [in 2003] and then [Brad] Hogg comes into the side and has an unbelievable series in South Africa. So as much as we’d love to see superstars feature in World Cups, the outliers tend to be those players that might win you a World Cup. It might be Ishan Kishan, for example. He might have an unbelievable World Cup and blast everyone away. The selectors don’t write their names down first, but they have something special and they can deliver it on a World Cup stage.

However, there are still some questions that plague India before the ODI World Cup.

They are- who will play at number 4? and what will the middle order comprise?

While Rohit Sharma has already stated that they will keep their playing XI flexible, Hayden feels that the Asia Cup will give India a final chance to settle down their batting order.

The Asia Cup is kind of where you’re going to see a lot more answers to those questions. Playing in their home conditions, in the build-up to the World Cup- the World Cup’s on our doorstep- that’s about as good as you can get from the subcontinent teams, playing in Sri Lanka, in Pakistan, ahead of an enormous campaign here in India. There’s no question that you’re going to have bench players playing in this World Cup. Your outliers are as important as your key players. And it’s in your favour.

Concluding, Hayden says,

But we all know how much everyone loves cricket here as well. To be at home, there’s an enormous pressure that will come with that. But I think that you’ve got good lead up time and good preparation.

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