“And if they can fill spots with talented young players like Tilak Varma, put pressure on someone like Suryakumar Yadav, I think that’s a good strategy. Keep everyone honest in the side and performing. So not a bad move. I think it’s a great side.”
“In the landscape of modern cricket now, you’re going to get injuries,” Hayden said. “We’ve seen that with Jasprit Bumrah and we’ve seen the emergence of players in and around him that have had an opportunity because he hasn’t been playing. They look at their bench strength as much as they look at their playing make-up because ultimately you’re going to be challenged.
“When I look back at the World Cup campaigns that I was a part of, I remember [Shane] Warne was out with a drug-related incident [in 2003] and then [Brad] Hogg comes into the side and has an unbelievable series in South Africa. So as much as we’d love to see superstars feature in World Cups, the outliers tend to be those players that might win you a World Cup. It might be Ishan Kishan, for example. He might have an unbelievable World Cup and blast everyone away. The selectors don’t write their names down first, but they have something special and they can deliver it on a World Cup stage.”
“The Asia Cup is kind of where you’re going to see a lot more answers to those questions,” Hayden said. “Playing in their home conditions, in the build-up to the World Cup – the World Cup’s on our doorstep – that’s about as good as you get from the subcontinent teams, playing in Sri Lanka, in Pakistan, ahead of an enormous campaign here in India. There’s no question that you’re going to have bench players playing in this World Cup. Your outliers are as important as your key players. And it’s in your favour.
“But we all know how much everyone loves cricket here as well. To be at home, there’s an enormous pressure that will come with that. But I think that you’ve got good lead up time and good preparation.”