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AFP
November 7, 2019

‘T20 right format to groom young stars’

Sports

AFP
November 7, 2019

RAJKOT: The Twenty20 format can be used to groom young talent and prepare them for one-dayers and Tests while not distracting players from winning games, stand-in India skipper Rohit Sharma said Wednesday.

Sharma, who is captaining the side in the second T20 against Bangladesh in Rajkot on Thursday (today) with Virat Kolhi rested for the series, is leading a young Indian side with several veterans rested.

The hosts need to win to keep the three-match series alive after going down in the opening game by seven wickets. “We want to try a lot of players to make them ready for the other formats,” Sharma told a press conference.

“Because this is the format where these individuals can come out and express themselves so that they are ready for ODI and Test cricket.” Sharma has been one of India´s brightest stars in limited-overs cricket, but also proved his mettle in the Test format after making a successful debut as opener in during his team´s 3-0 sweep of South Africa.

Nicknamed “hitman” for his attacking style of play, Sharma — who made his Test debut in 2013, six years after his first ODI match — scored 529 runs with two centuries and a double ton in the three matches.

“We have seen a lot of players who have emerged from this format,” Sharma said, adding players would learn valuable lessons even in defeat. “But having said that, winning games is the first priority,” he said.

Paceman Khaleel Ahmed and all-rounder Shivam Dube — who made his debut in Delhi on Sunday — are just some of the players being trialled by the team´s management with an eye on the T20 World Cup in Australia next year. Sharma, 32, said the hosts could adopt a “different” approach with the bat and ball in the second match if they get a good pitch.

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