'It is about picking capable players': Sachin Tendulkar says 'age should not be a criteria' for team selection
India batting legend Sachin Tendulkar believes that the Indian team should not keep age as a criteria for deciding the T20 World Cup squad. The T20I World Cup is set to take place in India later this year, with a heavy international schedule in place, questions are being raised on whether the selectors should keep an experienced squad for the tournament, or give chance to youngsters.
"One thing I would like to clarify here is that it is not just about picking youngsters. It is about picking capable players, you are talking about the Indian cricket team, age should not be criteria," Tendulkar told news agency ANI, on the sidelines of Road Safety World Series.
"It is about what you are able to deliver and that is what matters, not age. If somebody is able to perform and may not be a young cricketer, but if you are able to perform you should be playing for India," he added.
"Talking about youngsters, if you are able to perform then he rightfully deserves it. But if he is not able to perform, then maybe there are options you can look at. It is just not about age, it is a misconception that you should promote youngsters. I feel we should be picking our best 11.
"We should be picking our best 14-15 member squad and the best balance is known to the selection committee and it should be left to them," Tendulkar further said.
Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, who made their India debuts in the ongoing T20I series against England, have made a name for themselves in the short time. Tendulkar said that the reason for their success is because they have played with and against the top players in the IPL for many years.
"As far as Suryakumar and Ishan are concerned, they both have done really well, they have not looked out of place at all and there is a reason for that. They played against all these guys a number of times. Yesterday, one of the commentators said that Surya has played against Archer and Stokes like as good as playing against Rajasthan Royals," Tendulkar said.
"For us, when I went to Pakistan and Australia, I was playing all those bowlers for the first time and that was at international level, so here the beauty is that they have played against top bowlers in the IPL and then playing against them for India, it is a big difference, you know what to expect from them and that is what has happened.
"That is the beauty of our structure and we can noticeably see that our bench strength is really good," he signed off.