Bangalore:Former India batsman Sandeep Patil, who succeeded Dav Wahatmore as National Cricket Academy Director, said he aspires to augment the bench strength of Indian cricket team during his association with the NCA.
Soon after taking charge from Whatmore as NCA Director (Cricket Operations) on November 1, Patil made his intentions clear, when he said that his main focus would be to create a pool of players who can be thrown into the rigors of international cricket at anytime.
"It will be my responsibility to strengthen the reserve strength for replacements in Indian cricket. We should not get into a situation like how Australia find themselves in in the ongoing one-day series. We need to have players ready to play international cricket at any given time," Patil said while addressing the media here on Wednesday.
He, however, refused to set any specific goal for himself, saying he would like to carry forward the good work done by Whatmore and his team.
"I have just about started going through the journals of the NCA. Dav Whatmore and his team have done a commendable job over the last two years. Honestly, I would be happy to do just ten per cent of they have achieved. I would like to take it forward and produce outstanding cricketers from the NCA stable," said the 53-year-old, who scored a blistering 174 against Australia at Adelaide in 1981.
Patil also thanked the Cricket Board (BCCI) for providing him an avenue to utilise his experience and said now it was his turn to give it back to the game.
"I thank the BCCI for giving me this huge responsibility of shaping the careers of aspiring cricketers.
"The Board has done well in providing state-of-the-art facilities, infrastructure and put a good support team in place. Now, it is my turn to contribute my bit to Indian cricket," he said.
"Since I have 23 years of experience as a coach, I should be able to make some difference. But having said that, I must admit even now I am a student of the game and I will continue to be one wherever I am," added Patil, who was coach of the Indian team during the 1996 tour of England.
Event though he had a chequered innings as a player and coach, Patil hoped his association with the NCA would be a longer one.
"As I have had a staggered career as a player and coach, I hope to have a long association with the NCA. But this would depend on the BCCI," he said.