Former Indian cricketer and now commentator Aakash Chopra feels that India is struggling in Australia not due to the lack of all-rounders but due to the poor form of their top bowlers and their inability to take wickets early.
At the same time, many cricketers and experts believe that India is lacking in terms of all-rounders. This matter got highlighted in the first ODI when Hardik Pandya didn’t bowl a single over and in the second ODI when Kohli had to hand over the bowl to the ‘specialist batsman’ Mayank Agarwal.
“If we look at the Indian bowling, it’s clear that we are unable to pick wickets with the new ball. How much time has gone? In the last three consecutive ODI matches, India has conceded a 100-run partnership at the top between the two openers. If you don’t take wickets with the new ball, a wicket does not fall in the first 20-odd overs, then whomever you bowl doesn’t make a difference,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
In the 2nd ODI, Virat Kohli made an on-field call as he asked Pandya to the bowl and he delivered 4 overs. Hardik Pandya himself confirmed after the series opener that he is not yet fully fit to bowl and in such case, seeing him bowling in the second ODI came as a surprise for all the cricket fraternity and fans.
Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra said that no bowling all-rounder could do the job of a new-ball bowler and has pointed out that it’s the top bowlers in the team who are lacking in this series.
“Although we saw Hardik Pandya bowling it was too late. He took a wicket as well, he dismissed Steve Smith. But if your top bowlers don’t take wickets, what will the 6th, 7th or 8th option do,” said Chopra.
“So, this is a problem which is getting magnified by the lack of an all-rounder but first of all, how many of them do we have? And even if they available, where will you play them? If you don’t take wickets at the top, it is not going to help in the middle, doesn’t matter how many all-rounders you play,” he added.
The third and final ODI, which will be a dead rubber since Australia already have an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series, will be played in Canberra on December 02.