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Can’t have just 20 players and rotate them ahead of World Cup being nine months away : Irfan Pathan

New Delhi : Former India left-arm fast-bowler Irfan Pathan believes the side cannot just restrict itself to a pool of 20 players and rotate only from them, especially with the 2023 ODI World Cup just nine months away.

“World Cup is still nine months away, you can’t have just 20 players and just rotate them and think that you’re going to find those players only above the rest. And it’s not happening, look being a part of NCA in terms of coaching courses, and knowing those coaches what they have done now, they have had a clear communication on Indian cricket, with Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and the coaches,” said Pathan on ‘;Road to World Cup Glory’ show on Star Sports.

With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) saying the National Cricket Academy (NCA) will work with IPL franchisees to monitor players’ workload during IPL 2023, it has come to light that 20 cricketers have been put on the shortlist for the ODI World Cup, which India last won in 2011 at home.

“There were 33-target list of players, apart from the contracted list that we have, so that’s a very big pool of players we are talking about, not just 20. 20 can’t be enough, because if something goes wrong with those 20, be it injuries or form, nine months is a long period of time you need a bigger pool of players, and this is where you’re going to find them.

And those 33 target list of players, they can practise anytime, they can work with the coaches,” added Pathan. Pathan, who was the Player of the Match in the final of the inaugural edition of the Men’s T20 World Cup in 2007 and played 120 ODIs as well, also revealed how the NCA coaches have been working in tandem with Dravid.

“Some of the coaches, they have different players like Rajib Datta has 13 players, 13 spinners work with him, there are 13 batters with Apurva Desaii, there are other coaches, they can go and work anytime.”

“And they actually get old data, they send it to Rahul Dravid and work together and that’s what needs to be done. And this is the right way forward. And if that has to happen consistently, this is where we are going to become world beaters, not just with 20 players.”



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