Former batsman Mohammad Kaif reckons the BCCI selectors missed a trick in picking India’s limited-overs squad for the tour of Australia. Kaif’s assessment comes after India took a 66-run beating in the first ODI with the lack of a sixth bowling option hurting the bowling attack. In the first ODI, India’s bowlers had an off day and with Hardik Pandya unable to bowl due to injury management, the team missed having a sixth bowler.
What makes the situation even worse for India is that Virat Kohli doesn’t have an option in the team to make a replacement. Ravindra Jadeja is the only all-rounder in the squad but a bad day in the office promises to leave India vulnerable. Kohli went in with an unchanged Indian team for the second ODI on Sunday, hoping his bowlers could improve from their outing on Friday.
“No amount of chopping or changing will give Virat Kohli 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,” Kaif tweeted.
Kaif recalled how India were in a quandary during the World Cup, when they were unable to figure out the ideal batsman for the No. 4 position.
“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,” he tweeted quoting Aakash Chopra’s tweet.
Earlier, Kaif had tweeted about his wish to see off-spinner R Ashwin be part of India’s limited-overs team. Ashwin last played ODIs and T20Is in 2017 and even though his selection in only confined for Tests, based on his performance in the IPL, Kaif is confident the off-spinner deserves a place in India’s ODI/T20I setup.
“Virat, Rohit, Pollard, Gayle, Warner, QDK, Karun, Buttler, Smith, Padikkal, Pooran. Read and re-read @ashwinravi99’s list of big scalps from IPL 13, mostly in power plays. Feel Ash can still be a valuable asset for India in T20Is,” Kaif tweeted on Wednesday.