‘Sachin paaji bowled, Yuvi paaji helped us win World Cup’, Raina explains why India need 6th bowler
Hardik Pandya had a wonderful time with the bat in the limited-overs series Down Under. His catalytic knocks powered the men-in-blue with terrific wins on multiple occasions. He also bagged the Man of the Series Award in the 3-match T20I rubber which India won 2-1.
However, Pandya not bowling after his back surgery has led to a lack of sixth bowling option for the team.
Former Indian all-rounder Suresh Raina highlighted that void stating that having multiple part-time options provides balance and versatility to the team and that is something India is missing these days.
“It is very important for a batsman to bowl and a bowler to bat, it’s is always useful for the team. It is very important for any captain that a batsman chips in with 4-5 overs and just slows the proceedings before your best bowler is back in the attack,” Raina said at the launch of the ‘FrontRow’ app.
Raina himself was a handy part-time spinner during his playing days. The 34-year-old, who has 62 international wickets to his credit, said that former greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh would regularly bowl for the team which helped in maintaining balance of the side.
“Sachin paaji bowled, Viru bhai took a lot of wickets. Yuvi paaji helped us win the World Cup with the momentum. When we used to play tournaments in the villages, to be in the team, we had to bowl alongside batting otherwise we weren’t selected,” Raina said.
“Fielding had to be good as we didn’t know if we’d get a chance to bat or not. Bowling is arduous, no one likes to do it. But then the captain gets a choice that this player can bowl,” he added.
After thumping Australia 2-1 in the T20I series, India now head towards the 4-match Test series, that commences from December 17 at Adelaide.