Saturday, February 24, 2024

Indian team needs more batters who can bowl: Anil Kumble

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Power hitting will rule T20 cricket going forward and the Indian team needs to play a brand of cricket where big-hitting batters contribute with the ball for the balance of the side, former India coach Anil Kumble has suggested.

The Indian team was blown away by England’s power hitters Alex Hales and Jos Buttler in the T20 World Cup semifinal in Adelaide on Thursday.

India’s timid batting approach invited criticism from all quarters as it led to a heavy defeat that spelt the ouster of the side from the premier ICC event.

“…what I see as something that certainly needs to be done is, how we keep talking about bowlers need to bat. But I think in Indian cricket, you need batters to bowl too for the balance of the team,” Kumble was quoted as saying by

“That’s exactly what England have. They had too many choices. They used Liam Livingstone. Moeen Ali has hardly bowled in this tournament. So those are the choices that you need.”

Kumble found fault with the selection of Indian teams, saying the current trend needs to change. “Unfortunately even in the India A team that gets picked, it’s mostly batters who don’t bowl. It’s important to create that brand of cricket and say that this is how the Indian team is going to do it and it should follow right through the system.

“I think the more and more you play T20s, it’s going to be like this, where you just come and show your power. So that’s exactly how I think T20 is going to go forward,” he said.

Kumble is of the view that every player should understand the specific role assigned to him and once that’s finalised the team should stick to that.

He went to the extent of saying that that role should not be restricted just to the national team and the players must go back to domestic cricket with the same mindset.

“One is of course having that brand of cricket and then choosing the players to do that but I think it’s also important that these players play their specific roles wherever they play.

“Because it’s not about just playing that role for India and then going back to your domestic cricket and franchise cricket and then changing the way you’re going to go about it. For example, Pant batted for India at No. 6, he walked in in the 19th over. He never does that in domestic cricket,” he said.

“So you need some kind of role definition as well there and that’s something I think is very critical if you’re going to build a potent team where you need a back-up for those roles and not necessarily your six best players whatever role they can. It’s very difficult to do that in a World Cup.”

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