Canberra, Jan 19: Describing a trip to Australia as "one of the toughest", Indian team director Ravi Shastri wants the Board of Control for India (BCCI) to send extra players as a back-up for injuries.
India, who are currently in Australia playing a 5-match ODI series, have so far lost all the 3 matches. The 50-over contests will be followed by 3 Twenty20 Internationals. (Shastri defends bowlers)
The MS Dhoni-led side has come in for heavy criticism, bowlers in particular, after failing to defend scores of 290 plus in all three games. With the 4th ODI set to take place tomorrow (January 20) in Canberra, Shastri revealed how tough it was to play Down Under.
"We need bench strength because this is one of the toughest tours. And I have been to Australia many many times and I will tell you why. In the last few days we have been through three time zones. And it's not often you go through that," Shastri told reporters on the eve of the 4th ODI, on Tuesday (January 19).
"You play in Perth (1st ODI), and you get on a flight and reach Brisbane (2nd game) where the time is different. Then to Melbourne (3rd ODI) where the time is different and all in the matter of six days. Now you consider all that and I think the boys have done extremely well," he added.
Shastri said he would suggest to the BCCI that a squad of 16 would be better of than 15 in overseas tours. "And in the future I would suggest to the BCCI to have some extra players. Instead of just 15 on a tour like this, probably 16 would be advisable. Somewhere close to the subcontinent like in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, or the Middle East, 15 is fine.
"But here when you travel that far, and suddenly you get injuries, I think it is something I will suggest. We need to have a bench-strength of at least 7-8 bowlers have to be there all the time and there also there will be specialists for T20s, for ODIs and for Tests," Shastri said.