Rethink seven batsmen theory: Barry
Former South African opener Barry Richards has hit out at India's theory of going into a one-day game with seven batsmen and wanted more flexibility in the Sourav Ganguly-led squad's approach in the limited over format with better equipped tail-enders available now.
"I have been of the opinion if six batsmen can't do it, then seven would not make any difference," he said evaluating the Indian team, currently in the middle of a slump after a fabulous 2003-04 season.
"I have never been convinced about it. Yes, in the NatWest series (that India won in England in 2002), Yuvraj (Singh) and (Mohammed) Kaif did it. But if you look at stats, you would know how many matches number six and seven have won for you and how many they have lost," Richards said in support of his viewpoint.
The Indian team management has always advocated the seven-batsman theory as it feels that it has done wonders for them in the past.
Richards felt that Kaif had actually declined as a batsman because of the situation in which he comes in to bat.
"Kaif has actually gone backwards because when he comes in it is 60 for five and he is under pressure. Or when he comes in it is four overs to go," he said about the middle-order batsman, who is among the best fielders in the team.
"India went for seven batsmen because their number eight, nine, ten or eleven couldn't bat. Now you have (Laxmipathy) Balaji, (Irfan) Pathan and (Ajit) Agarkar. Australia have always followed this method and the likes of (Brett) Lee and (Michael) Kasprowicz can either hold one up end or give it a go," he noted.