Former India pacer Zaheer Khan has shed praise on the current system in place in Indian cricket that enables them to consistently produce talent. He notes that the country's significant talent pool is what separates the Indian side from other teams at the moment.
India's robust domestic structure has been heavily credited as of late, along with the youth setup. The U-19 side have made it to the finals for the most recent three editions, winning the 2018 World Cup in the process.
Zaheer added that the shadow tours that go on behind the scenes of the main tours are a big factor behind India's success. While speaking on Cricbuzz, Zaheer said:
"The talent India are producing at the moment, it is just like a factory. There is no lack of talented players, the system is constantly producing players. The pool of players waiting, that too ready to play at such a level, is the biggest advantage India have over other teams. The next cricket generation who are playing with India A and U-19 have been given great exposure and opportunities with shadow tours. With this, you get ready-made players which is why you get results like this."
India A are already in South Africa to play three Tests before the senior team gets there. The third unofficial Test is slated to take place later today (December 6) with the scoreline still poised at 0-0.
Very early to assess the Dravid-Kohli partnership: Zaheer
The 43-year-old admitted that one series is not enough to assess the changes in the team under Rahul Dravid. He feels that the upcoming congested calendar year will be crucial in terms of workload management and the overall balance in the squad. Zaheer added:
"Very early to assess the Dravid-Kohli partnership or the changes that have occurred in the team under Dravid. The long-term goals are always the focus. Dravid has always been process-oriented. Winning the series will always be the priority. The key to balancing opportunities for new players and rest the seniors will be important."
India have now secured resounding series wins in Dravid's first T20I and Test series assignments. A huge challenge awaits in the form of his first overseas tour of South Africa.