Former Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai was a very astute observer of cricketing talent during his tenure as the chief of Committe of Administrators (CoA) which ran Indian cricket for period of three years till a new body for Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could be elected. One of his chief contribution during his stint as CoA chief was identifying the potential in former captain Rahul Dravid to groom the next generation of Indian cricketers.
Team India is reaping the benefits of that decision as Dravid has laid the platform from which youngsters like Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar, T. Natarajan and the likes can take the next big jump. India’s bench strength is so strong now that they can take down the might of a full-strength Australian and that too in their own den.
Since 2010, India ‘A’ team have played 52 first-class matches — the highest by any team in world cricket. Siraj has played 16 ‘A’ team matches, Saini 14, Vihari 12, Agarwal 10, Gill 8, Shaw 5 and Pant 4. It’s no wonder that the step up to the next level wasn’t a hard one for this bunch.
A lot of the credit for the planning of this must go to…