Gautam Gambhir, former Indian opener and two-time IPL winner for KKR lashed out at Indian skipper Virat Kohli for his usage of pacer Jasprit Bumrah after India’s ODI series loss to Australia Down Under.
After losing the ODI series opener by 66 runs to hosts Australia, Team India failed to keep the three-match series alive by losing the second and penultimate game by 51 runs at the SCG on Sunday (November 29).
Gautam Gambhir Failed To Understand Virat Kohli’s Captaincy
Batting first, Aaron Finch-led Australia posted a staggering 389-3 riding on half-centuries from the skipper, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell and a hundred from Steve Smith, which was his second successive one after his first ODI heroics with bat. This was Australia’s second successive score in excess of 350.
India did put up a brave fight in pursuit of 390. Still, the target proved to be a big daunting ask eventually as they were restricted for 338-9, courtesy fifties from Indian skipper Virat Kohli (89) and his deputy KL Rahul (76). While Virat Kohli missed out on his 44th ODI ton, he did notch up few personal records up his sleeves one of them being the fastest to reach 22,000 international runs.
However, Virat Kohli, the captain remained unimpressive as he didn’t rotate his bowlers effectively. Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir lashed out at the 32-year-old for his odd usage of his premier speedster Jasprit Bumrah, who bowled in short spells.
Gambhir said on ESPNCricinfo’s post-match show, “I can’t understand the captaincy to be honest. We kept talking about how important is to take wickets upfront if we have to stop this kind of batting line-up and then you make your premier bowler bowl two overs. Normally, in a One Day game probably there are three spells of 4-3-3 overs. Or probably the maximum is four overs.”
“But if you stop your premier fast bowler just by bowling two overs upfront with the news, I can’t understand that kind of captaincy. I probably can’t even explain that captaincy. It is not T20 cricket. I probably can’t understand the reason to be honest because that was poor captaincy.”
The same issue was also highlighted by cricket expert Aakash Chopra in his post-match analysis for Cricbuzz Live. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami were bowling in tandem till the 4th over when Virat Kohli brought Navdeep Saini in the 5th over but that over proved costly. He bowled the 7th over too which was even costlier with 12 runs coming off it.
Gautam Gambhir: Selection Error To Not Pick All-rounders
Commenting on India’s lack of 6th bowler, Gautam Gambhir pointed out a few names who can serve the purpose and fill the big hole in India’s line-up. Gautam Gambhir reckons that someone like Washington Sundar or Shivam Dube or Vijay Shankar should have been there in Australia but blamed selection policies for ignoring them.
He opined, “They could have given someone like Washington Sundar or Shivam Dube or whoever was there in the squad to play the next game and see how they go into the one-day format. But if you don’t have anyone in Australia then it is a selection error as well.”
“Unless and until you don’t judge someone you will never be able to find how good he is at the international level. India has not taken those options to Australia and those might come back to hurt them big time,” Gautam Gambhir said.
Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal conceded more than 7 runs per over with Navdeep Saini giving away 10 runs per over without getting a single wicket in the 2nd ODI. Hardik Pandya finally bowled after almost a year in international cricket. Navdeep Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal were expensive in the first ODI too which Australia won by 66 runs.