Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli share their views on two India squads in two places simultaneously

A second-string Indian side will be touring Sri Lanka for three ODIs and three T20Is in July while the Virat Kohli-led side will be in England.

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Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli share their views on two India squads in two places simultaneously
Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri talked about the possibility of two India squads playing in two different locations simultaneously becoming a norm | Photo: BCCI

Team India skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri said that the possibility of two India squads playing at two different locations could become a norm going into the future. BCCI will be sending a different team to Sri Lanka for a limited-overs tour as the Test team lead by Kohli will be in England preparing for the five-match Test series in July.

While the coach said that this could help expand the game given there are talks of concluding T20I cricket in the Olympics in a few years' time, while Kohli said that this could become a norm from the mental health point of view as it will allow the players to get the much-needed break.

Speaking at the pre-departure press conference, Shastri said, "At the moment it is happening because of the current situation with restrictions in travel. But you never know, in the future if you want to expand the game, especially in the shorter formats of the game then it could be the way forward. Why not?”

“If you have that much volume of cricketers and if you want to spread the game then that could be the way ahead. If you are thinking about Olympics in 4 or 8 years’ time then you need more countries to play the game," the coach added.

Kohli while said that given the current situation where the players are playing in bubbles constantly it will help manage the workload, not just physical but mental too.

"Two squads in different places… with the current structure, and the kind of structure that we’re competing inside, to be very honest, it’s tough for the players to stay motivated for a long period of time and find the right kind of mental space confined in one area, doing stuff day in day out and dealing with high-pressure situations. So this will definitely become a norm for the future.

“Apart from workload, I think the mental health side of things will also come into picture big time because you don’t have an outlet at all in today’s day and age. You’re literally going to the ground, coming back to the room. You have no space where you can just disconnect from the game and go out for a walk or a meal or coffee to refresh. This is a huge factor that should not be neglected.

“As much hard work we’ve put to create this team, you don’t want players to fall out because of mental pressures or space to express themselves. So I think the channel always has to be open, and the management has left it open for players to approach and say ‘I’m not feeling right in the head, need a break and disconnect from the game. I think that’s going to be a huge factor, and I’m sure Ravi bhai and the management feel the same," Kohli further added.

While Shastri suggesting the rotation of players during the five-match Test series with the focus on mental stress and fatigue, said, "And you’ll see it during the Test series. Not the WTC, but when you have to play five Tests in this environment in six weeks, it’s no joke. Even the fittest will need a break. More than the physical part, it’s the mental part like Virat mentioned. You can be destroyed mentally being asked to do the same things day in day out and then go and perform. It’s not easy to recover especially if you’ve had a bad day. It’s important to shuffle the guys around and keep them mentally fresh because of the prevailing circumstances.”

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