Following their disappointing showing in the white ball series in the West Indies, former India opener Aakash Chopra said the need of hour of Indian cricket is to push for batters, who can also chip in with a few overs with the ball.
Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav play as specialist batters in the Indian ODI team, unlike the World Cup winning team of 2011 in which Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina would regularly contribute with the ball.
Rohit has picked up eight wickets in ODI and two in T20Is, but last bowled an over in white ball cricket in 2016.
Kohli, who has taken four wickets each in the two formats, bowled an over in the T20 Asia Cup match against Hong Kong — his only bowling in the last six years.
Gill is yet to pick up a wicket in competitive cricket, having rolled his arm over a few times in first class cricket and Suryakumar, who has taken 24 wickets in first class cricket and six in T20 cricket, is yet to bowl in international cricket.
Chopra is impressed by Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tilak Varma in the West Indies and called on the selectors to give them a longer stint.
Jaiswal hit a century on his Test debut and then blasted a quickfire 84 not out in the fourth T20I.
Varma stood out in his first international series, as he finished the highest run-getter in the T20I series with 173 runs at a strike rate of 140, while also picking up a wicket.
Chopra believes all-rounder Washington Sundar, who has struggled with injuries in the last couple of years, should be a part of the Indian T20 team.
‘Considering that most of the current Indian batters don’t bowl even a couple of overs, the Indian team must start pushing for batters who do. Yashasvi-Tilak should be given a longer rope and encouraged to bowl as often as possible. Washington has to be in India’s T20 scheme of things too,’ Chopra said.
‘When you have someone who can chip in, it is nice. I have seen Tilak and Yashasvi bowl since the Under-19 days. They are capable of being good bowlers. They can work on it at this level. When you got options like these, it is nice to have them.’
‘We will see them bowl soon hopefully, we are working on it. It will take time,’ Bowling Coach Paras Mhambrey said recently.
‘Soon, we will see them bowling an over at least.’
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