Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif has blamed selectors for not including enough bowling options in the squad for Australia’s tour. As Navdeep Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal were having an off-day, India felt the lack of a sixth bowler, who could cover-up in place of them. As a result, Australia set a mammoth target of 374 runs which the visitors could not chase down.
Hardik Pandya was playing only as a batsman because of his back injury. And the other allrounder Ravindra Jadeja was being used as a genuine fifth bowler. Shardul Thakur can be the sixth bowling option, but he can not be as impactful as Pandya. Thus, with India not having strong bench strength, several cricket boffins have lashed out on selectors.
Selectors missed a trick: Mohammad Kaif
Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif has said that it is not the captain’s job to suddenly find a 6th bowling option, someone who can bat as well, mid-tour. Kaif said that it was the selectors’ job to think and act before the tour. It is true that India’s lack of a 6th bowling option has hurt the visitors’ team balance.
“No amount of chopping or changing will give Virat Kolhi the sixth bowling option on this tour. A pace-bowling all-rounder who doesn’t bowl, a long tail, no part-time bowler in top order or on the bench. Feel for the captain. The selectors missed a trick I think #AusvInd,” Mohammad Kaif wrote on Twitter.
To this, Aakash Chopra questioned could Vijay Shankar and Shivam Dube be India’s 6th bowling option.
“Who could they have picked, partner? Shankar? Dube? Someone who could bat in the top 6 and bowl. How many in India have those skills for 50-over cricket?,” Aakash Chopra responded.
Kaif then reminded us about the No.4 conundrum ahead of the 2019 World Cup and pointed at the selection issues in Indian cricket.
“Since playing 5 bowlers is too big a risk considering niggles or a bad day on the field for someone, partner grooming an all-rounder is not a bad idea. Oh sorry, I forgot we will deal with playing XI problems at the last minute, days before the next World Cup #RememberNo4,” Kaif said in his response to Chopra.
Since playing 5 bowlers is too big a risk considering niggles or a bad day on the field for someone, partner grooming an all-rounder is not a bad idea. Oh sorry, I forgot we will deal with playing XI problems at the last minute, days before the next World Cup #RememberNo4 https://t.co/PNnLSRQx9e
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) November 28, 2020
Virat Kohli, after the conclusion of the game, had lamented the fact that Pandya is still not fit enough to bowl is hurtful for India’s team balance.