Mohammed Kaif has reckoned that the Indian selectors have missed a trick by not picking an all-round option for the Australian tour, which has forced Virat Kohli with just five bowling options. He also stated that the BCCI have failed in grooming an all-rounder who can come handy.
One thing that was evidently obvious from the first ODI against Australia in Sydney was that they were one bowling option short, which arguably cost them the game. With five specialist bowlers in the form of - Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal, Kohli failed to restrict the home team to a chaseable total. With Hardik Pandya yet to return to the bowling crease, the problem is set to persist the entire tour.
Former Indian batsman, who was part of Delhi Capital’s coaching staff, Mohammed Kaif has reckoned that the selectors missed a trick, which has forced skipper Kohli to go with just five bowling options. He also stated that no chopping and changing would help the Indian skipper for the sixth-bowling option. Since the World Cup, India have struggled with the sixth bowling option, given Vijay Shankar's injury and their lack of trust in Shivam Dube as the all-rounder. Despite Pandya recovering, his absence from the bowling crease has cost them a valuable bowling option in the tour.
“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.
While Aakash Chopra suggested that India only have the options of Vijay Shankar and Shivam Dube, Kaif replied that playing five bowlers is too big a risk, considering the workload for the bowlers. He also added that grooming all-rounders aren’t a bad option and the board must look at doing it more and not leave it too late.
“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.