'Virat, Rohit don't bowl at all, should try to bowl few overs': Kapil Dev feels India need to develop more all-rounders
- Kapil Dev, in conversation with veteran sports journalist Ayaz Memon on Day 1 of Hindustan Times' virtual HT NxT, said India need to develop more all-rounders, and that it won't be the worst idea if batsmen like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma can chip in with the ball more regularly.
The legendary former captain Kapil Dev feels even though the current Indian cricket team has plenty of promising talent, the one area they need to strengthen is that of all-rounders. When you think of all-rounders, the likes of Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Krunal Pandya come to mind, and while there are several fringe players who can contribute occasionally, only a limited set of players can make it to India's first Playing XI, especially in T20Is.
Kapil, the best all-rounder produced by the country, in conversation with veteran sports journalist Ayaz Memon on Day 1 of Hindustan Times' virtual HT NxT, said India need to develop more all-rounders, and that it won't be the worst idea if batsmen like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma can chip in with the ball more regularly.
"For a captain, two all-rounders are very important – batting all-rounder and bowling all-rounder. Hardik is a batting all-rounder, while I was a bowling all-rounder. So, if a captain can have two such all-rounders in T20, it really helps them. The team becomes solid. You can go with two extra players who can take the responsibility of the team. But if you have one all-rounder, the captain struggles," Kapil said.
"If one gets injured, you can still adjust. But if both all-rounders get injured then it can be very tough to adjust. So I would say… I look forward to two all-rounders: a batting all-rounder and a bowling all-rounder. Sachin Tendulkar or Sourav Ganguly were all-rounders who could bowl a few overs but were mainly batsmen. Players like Virat, Rohit don't bowl at all, so it's difficult in T20. Everybody should try to bowl a few overs every day to keep the rhythm going."
'Competition among players healthy for the team'
Kapil weighed in on another interesting topic, saying competition within players can only be good for the Indian team, and especially when it is fierce for the all-rounder's spot. As seen in the ongoing India vs England Test series, for the first four Tests, Ravindra Jadeja was preferred over R Ashwin as the lone spinner, and his selection could boil down to the fact that overall, Jadeja's batting record his slightly superior to Ashwin's.
"I think when you have competition, it's always good. Like you have 2-3 batsmen like Virat and Rohit, you always want to be one step ahead of the other. So, it really helps if you have competition of that level. If you have 4-5 allrounders – Jadeja one of the finest allrounders and same with Ashwin. But he has to get more runs to be considered a better all-rounder. You have those types of allrounder in the team, it's always good for the team because it gives the captain the option of picking a better team. Competition brings the best out everyone," Kapil said.