New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Indian skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli might have scored exhilarating centuries in the ongoing Test series against West Indies but the Team management missed a crucial aspect of nurturing the upcoming prodigies of World cricket keeping in mind the next cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC).

Following Australia’s emphatic win over India in the WTC 2023, it was a perfect opportunity for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to give chance to young guns who had proven their mettle in the domestic setup.

Also with the likes of captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane being closer to the end of their careers, it was the right time for the Team management to give to players having minimal international experience against the weak West Indies side.

However, nothing of this happened and a full-strength squad was picked for the West Indies Test series in June last month with Cheteshwar Pujara being the only exception.

Rahane, who had made a return to the Test squad after an 18-month hiatus, did impress in the WTC final against Australia but the right-handed batter since then has scored just 11 runs in the two innings against West Indies.

Moreover, Rahane was made the vice-captain of the squad. Having played just 1 Test match in the last 18 months, it did raise some serious questions about BCCI’s approach towards the future of Indian cricket.

The selection calls were also under scrutiny because 2023 being a World Cup year, and everyone expected the older lot to have some adequate rest having played continuous cricket (Indian Premier League and WTC).

India boasts an expansive talent pool at the grassroots level. 21-year-old Yashasvi Jaiswal, who was picked up for the West Indies Test, slammed 171 on debut and showed the world what a youngster is capable of if he is given an opportunity at the international level.

Bowler Mukesh Kumar, who made his debut in the second Test, too grabbed some eyeballs as he dismissed Kirk McKenzie giving India a much-needed breakthrough in the ongoing Test match against West Indies.

India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey lavished praise on Mukesh after the close of play on Day 3 on Saturday (local time).

“Given the conditions, the way he has gone about putting everything behind the ball that is very heartening to see and that is what is expected from him and from the team management this is what we wanted. Just to give his best and this is what he has done,” Mhambrey said after the stumps on Day 3

“I am extremely happy with the progress he has shown from the first ball of the first session he bowled to the second new ball where he showed some signs of moving the new ball it was real quality stuff,” he added.

When WTC 25 will be staged, skipper Rohit Sharma will be 38 years old, Virat Kohli will be 36 years old and Rahane will be 37, with the youngsters like Sarfaraz Khan, and Arshdeep Singh knocking the door of selectors on the back of some scintillating performances in the first-class cricket, the team management need to take some harsh call if India wants to lift the Test mace having lost two finals on trot.

Also prioritising giving chances to the young guns is an investment in the long-term success of the team, to build a solid core, one needs to start taking bold calls at least two years prior to the mega event.

Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar, who had recently been appointed as the chairman of the senior men’s selection committee, needs to adopt a futuristic approach else the team might face a similar fate as in the last two WTC finals.

The management should strike a balance between emerging players and the regular playing XI so that there is ample opportunity for the younger lot to learn from the experience and contribute to India’s success on the world stage.