World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev has said that he feels ‘strange’ that modern players tend to tire out after bowling only a few overs. The former all-rounder compared that to his playing days, recalling how he used to bowl many overs to only tailenders in the nets, whereas today’s bowlers are content bowling four overs.
Kapil Dev‘s observation came against the backdrop of Virat Kohli’s recent statement, where he said that India’s team balance is rigid due to the lack of a bowling all-rounder. Kapil Dev said the current dearth of all-rounders like himself in India is due to the aforementioned shift in the physical and mental effort put in by players.
“The number of injuries increases when you play cricket for ten months a year. And today’s cricket is very basic – you either bat or bowl. In our time, we had to do everything. Today’s cricket has changed a bit. Sometimes it hurts as well that a player gets tired after bowling four overs. And some say that they are not allowed to bowl 3-4 overs in the nets. I remember, in my time, I wouldn’t say it was wrong or right, we used to bowl ten overs even to the last few batsmen. One should have that mindset, and it develops the muscles (in that way as well). Today, perhaps four overs is enough for them, which feels a bit strange to the players of my generation,” said Kapil Dev.
India lost the World Test Championship (WTC) final by eight wickets. The team’s bowling combination of three seamers and two spinning-all-rounders seemed out of sorts against New Zealand’s five-pronged pace attack, including two all-rounders, Kyle Jamieson and Colin de Grandhomme.
Hardik Pandya, who is often compared with Kapil Dev, is currently the only player to have fulfilled the role of a designated all-rounder for Team India in the longest format of the game. However, he has been out of Test cricket with a back strain since 2018, with the team management apparently trying to slowly ease him into the team with a carefully managed workload.
Who could India look to as the next Kapil Dev-like all-rounder?
Earlier on Sunday, former selector Sarandeep Singh said that it is high time to look past Pandya and start grooming another all-rounder. He named Shardul Thakur, Vijay Shankar and Shivam Dube as possible options.
“You can’t be relying only on Hardik anymore. You don’t know when he will be fit enough to bowl in all formats, so someone like Shardul needs to be groomed or even Vijay Shankar or Shivam Dube are there,” Sarandeep Singh told PTI.
If media reports are to be believed, Shardul Thakur, who was pivotal in India’s success in Australia with both bat and ball, could get a go once again in the upcoming five-match Test series against England, which starts in August.
Virat Kohli:- “You have to reassess and replan and understand what dynamics work for the team and how we can be fearless. Bring in right people who have right mindset to perform,”— CricTwig (@crictwig) June 24, 2021
It will be interesting to see if Shardul Thakur can grab his chances and perform the role consistently for his team.