Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq hails Team India's bench strength
Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq believes First-class cricket has helped India become a global powerhouse. Speaking to Sportstar, Inzamam hailed India's domestic cricket structure and the Indian Premier League. He added that the India-Pakistan clashes, which used to be intense in his era, have now become one-sided. Notably, India and Pakistan now only face each other in multilateral tournaments. Here is more.
India have improved their game in last 10 years
"Until 2010, there was intense competition among these three teams. But over the last 10-12 years, India have improved their game and have certainly gone ahead of Pakistan and Sri Lanka." "The credit goes to the IPL for sure, but I must admit that India have focused on FC class cricket structure. That has played a huge role in its development," Inzamam said.
Second-string Team India set to tour SL
First-class cricket has certainly improved the bench strength of Team India. A second-string Indian side is set to tour Sri Lanka for a white-ball leg as the Test regulars will be busy in England. Shikhar Dhawan will lead this side, which includes plenty of fresh faces like Devdutt Padikkal, Rituraj Gaikwad, Krishnappa Gowtham, and Chetan Sakariya. The youngsters have performed well lately.
India staged an emphatic comeback Down Under
Inzamam gave the example of India's historic victory Down Under, when speaking about the bench strength. An injury-ravaged Team India staged an emphatic comeback in Australia after losing the series opener. The Ajinkya Rahane-led side, in the absence of senior players, went on to win the Border-Gavaskar series 2-1. The likes of Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar, and Mohammed Siraj rose to prominence.
'India did an incredible job in Australia'
"A bunch of youngsters from India actually did an incredible job by defeating the Aussies in their backyard. And that's why, your First-class structure needs to be top notch. That is one area where SL and Pakistan are lagging behind," added Inzamam.
Pakistan, SL haven't been able to develop FC cricket: Inzamam
Inzamam went on to compare India's domestic structure with that of Pakistan and Sri Lanka. "The associations have got money and the players have got world-class facilities - in terms of training. India is reaping benefits of its robust domestic structure, whereas Pakistan and Sri Lanka have not been able to develop their first-class cricket that much," he stated.
India ahead of Pakistan and Sri Lanka in international cricket
India are clearly ahead of both Pakistan and Sri Lanka in international cricket. Notably, India and Pakistan only meet in the multilateral tournaments due to political tensions between the two nations. The Indians have beaten Pakistan in eight out of the last nine encounters across formats. Meanwhile, they have lost only once to Sri Lanka since December 2017.