India wicketkeeper batter Dinesh Karthik said that India would need multi-dimensional players to solve their woes in limited-overs cricket. However, Karthik assured that the Indian side would look different once they would get back Pandya and Jadeja in their XI.
On Friday, South Africa chased down the target of 288 in the second ODI to take an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the 3-match series. Earlier South Africa also beat the visitors by 2-1 in the 3-match series.
The series loss will be a blessing in disguise for India- Dinesh Karthik
In the ODI series, India always looked like playing the catch-up game as the hosts dominated them in all three departments. India picked only 7 wickets in two matches. Also, their middle-order collapsed in the first match when Dhawan and Kohli gave them a solid start to chase down the target of 297.
In a post-match show with Cricbuzz, Karthik said that India needs all-rounders to balance their side.
“I think we are missing two key all-rounders here, and all-rounders are worth their weight in gold. Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. Once they come in, the dynamic of this team will look very different. Hardik at six and Jadeja at seven will look very different,” Karthik spoke to Cricbuzz.
However, Karthik is not too worried about India’s spin bowling department despite the struggle of Ashwin and Chahal in the series. Ashwin made a comeback in ODIs after more than 4 years but he returned with figures of 1/53 and 0/68 in two matches and Chahal also picked just one wicket in two matches despite there being enough assistance for the spinners.
“Chahal is the best wrist spinner in India right now. He will be the bowler in the World Cup as well. So we have spin attack solved with him and R Ashwin, and you can also throw Washington Sundar,” Karthik added.
But Karthik believes that India needs to look beyond Bhuvneshwar who conceded runs with an economy of more than 7 without taking a single wicket. Karthik also showed disappointment with the Indian pace bowling unit.
“I think he needs to be replaced. India needs pace in their attack. The difference with Bumrah is that due to his pace, his slower ones become more effective. But when was pace is in early 130s, your slower ones are not that effective, and you are dependent on knuckle balls a lot more,” Karthik said.
“The fast bowling department is where they will be looking at in a keen manner. Who they want to bowl in the middle overs will be important. I know that Bhuvi enjoys [bowling] with the new ball, but today, giving Ashwin the new ball against Quinton De Kock would have been a good match-up,” he added.
However, Karthik believes that this series loss will be a blessing in the disguise for India as they have time to solve their problem ahead of the World Cup 2023.
“I think this is the best thing that can happen to Indian ODI cricket. With this thing happening 15-16 months before the World Cup, it will give them a perspective and help them set a template. They will know what kind of players and skillset they need,” he concluded.
The third and final ODI between India and South Africa will be played on January 23 at Cape Town.