“This Cannot Be The Template”: Ex-India Star Tears Into Team’s Approach

Hardik Pandya couldn’t deliver with the bat in the T20I series against West Indies© AFP

Top Indian stars like Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Shreyas Iyer, etc missed the T20I series against West Indies due to injuries or workload management as Hardik Pandya’s men slumped to a 2-3 defeat. Though there’s no T20 World Cup this year, the result has raised many questions about the team’s preparedness in the shortest format and roadmap going forward. Former India opening batter Wasim Jaffer isn’t happy with the ‘template’ shown by the team in the series and wants it to be changed.

“The bulk of the [T20 World Cup] team will be from this 15,” Jaffer said on ESPNCricinfo. “You need to look at the youngsters to take you forward in this format. So players like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Mukesh Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, they are the future. But there are some gaps you need to fill. The major concern is the batting finishing at number seven. Quite a few of the top order are not getting a start and not converting it and quite a bit of that boils down to them feeling there is nobody to bat after number seven so they have to bat the bulk of the overs and when you go with that mindset, it does not help.”

Jaffer is of the opinion that more all-rounders need to be included in the Indian team, especially in T20Is. He suggested players like Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar, Venkatesh Iyer, etc. to be groomed for all-round roles.

“Within 10 months’ time, India will be playing the World Cup. This cannot be the template. The batting needs to come till number eight, possibly nine, somebody who can tonk the ball. And obviously, the bowlers, need to start getting their batting a little bit better. At least their six-hitting or four-hitting ability. We need to look at guys who can bat and bowl. Shivam Dube comes to my mind. Venkatesh Iyer, Washington Sundar, those are the guys that come to mind and we need to groom them,” he concluded.

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