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India vs West Indies: Can’t have two wicketkeepers in the team, says Vengsarkar

Kedar Jadhav is back and has to be fitted into the playing XI. Though injury-prone, Jadhav provides balance with his part-time bowling. Former India captain Vengsarkar feels India erred by going in a pure batsman short.

cricket Updated: Oct 29, 2018 08:31 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
kedar jadhav,india vs west indies,virat kohli
File image of Rishabh Pant (left) and MS Dhoni.(AFP)

Throwing all pre-series predictions of a cakewalk for India out of the window, this talented bunch of West Indies cricketers has stormed back to level the series and put the Indian team management in a quandary over the playing XI for the next match.

Kedar Jadhav is back and has to be fitted into the playing XI. Though injury-prone, Jadhav provides balance with his part-time bowling.

Former India captain Vengsarkar feels India erred by going in a pure batsman short.

In the post-match interview, captain Virat Kohli had hinted of resting a bowler for Jadhav.

Vengsarkar, a former chairman of selectors, says India can’t go in with two wicketkeepers. “They can’t have two wicket-keepers in the team. The selection of the playing XI has not been up to the mark,” said Vengsarkar.

Asked to choose between the young Rishabh Pant and the experienced MS Dhoni, Vengsarkar put the onus on the team management. Pant has taken the Test arena by storm with his batting while Dhoni’s keeping skills have gone up a notch higher.

The former India captain would have been an automatic choice but has come under pressure due to his poor run with the bat. Considering his performance in the last three series — versus England, Asia Cup and the three games so far versus West Indies, it is clear he is closer to finish.

When asked to analyse Dhoni’s batting, Vengsarkar observed: “Dhoni has been one of India’s greatest cricketers and finest captains. (But) everybody goes through this phase.

“He is fit but his form is suspect. That is because he doesn’t play all the formats and doesn’t play domestic cricket as well. It is tough to straightaway come and play international cricket,” said Vengsarkar.

Painful end

It is how they all went – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag. The runs simply dried up. Towards the fag end, these greats did tease their fans with a few glorious strokes, but the big effort their well-wishers hoped for stopped happening.

Even the luck runs out

An example of luck running out was seen in the second ODI at Visakhapatnam, when Dhoni was middling every ball while racing to 20 (off 25 balls), before he got a good ball that breached his defence. At Pune, he got seven off 11 balls.

Dhoni’s ambition of playing the 2019 World Cup depends entirely on how convinced the Indian management is about his absolute utility.

It will have to weigh Dhoni’s experience of soaking in pressure against young Pant, who is bristling with confidence.

In English conditions earlier this summer, Dhoni played an uncharacteristic knock of 59-ball 37 at Lord’s (2nd ODI) as the asking rate kept climbing. In the final game at Leeds, he performed slightly better with 66-ball 42.

Against England and in the Asia Cup, India went in with two wicketkeepers, playing Dinesh Karthik as pure batsman, before dropping him. The cricketing logic behind the experiment is questionable!

First Published: Oct 29, 2018 08:30 IST