The Indian pace bowlers aren’t getting any younger and team management realises the need to get the next crop of pacers ready in the near future, said skipper Virat Kohli after the Test series loss to New Zealand.

While Jasprit Bumrah is expected to lead the pace pack for many more years, Ishant Sharma will be 32 this year, Mohammed Shami is 29 and Umesh Yadav is turning 33.

“These guys are not getting any younger so we need to be very careful and very aware and accept that these are situations that can potentially come up and have guys who can replace them and ready up and running as soon as possible,” skipper Kohli said.

Ishant’s poorly handled rehabilitation which saw a recurrence of ankle tear and the kind of workload that Shami has taken in the past two years, is an indicator that this team has to be ready for transition in the pace department in near future.

“From the point of view of the larger picture, we do need to recognise who are the next three-four guys that can keep the standard up because you don’t want to feel a void suddenly if a couple of guys miss out,” Kohli added.

With Indian team’s packed schedule across formats, Kohli said that it’s inhuman to “squeeze the life out of individuals”.

“That’s what happens in cricket. Mini transitions happen every now and then, and you need to be aware of them. You can’t squeeze the life out of individuals, and when they are done, you have no back-up. I think we as a side are pretty aware that these things are quite possible,” Kohli said.

Navdeep Saini is already a part of the set-up and there are two or three more names in the pipeline, the skipper said.

“Saini is one who has come into the system. We have two-three more that we have an eye on. We need to be very careful and we need to understand that this is one factor that has got us a lot of success and we need to make sure that standards are kept high,” the skipper said.

While Kohli didn’t name any other fast bowlers but the potential ones in the pecking order for red ball cricket include Mohammed Siraj of Hyderabad, Sandeep Warrier of Kerala, Avesh Khan of Madhya Pradesh and Ishant Porel of Bengal.

With PTI Inputs