India’s 1983 World Cup-winning captain and one of the greatest all-rounders of all-time Kapil Dev has said that the Indian team needs to develop more all-rounders and also mentioned that he feels Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma should try to bowl a few overs in every match.
Kapil Dev came from an era where batsmen used to bowl a few overs every match and India won the 1983 World Cup on tremendous performances of Kapil Dev, Mohinder Amarnath, Kirti Azad, Sandeep Patil, and Madan Lal, all of who could bat and ball well.
Then came the likes of Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Jadeja, Robin Singh, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, and Virender Sehwag who all were capable of sending down 10 overs in ODIs and have multiple records with the ball to their name, though they were primarily batsmen.
For a captain, two all-rounders are very important- batting all-rounder and bowling all-rounder: Kapil Dev
During a conversation with veteran sports journalist Ayaz Memon on Day 1 of the Hindustan Times’ virtual HT NxT, Kapil Dev mentioned that India needs to develop more all-rounders, as every captain needs at least two all-rounders in his team- batting all-rounder and bowling all-rounder.
“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.
He then further added that Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly could bowl a few overs here and there to give their captains some breathing space. But criticized Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma for not even trying to bowl in every match.
“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,” he added.
This need for all-rounders was the reason India picked Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Hardik Pandya, and Ravichandran Ashwin in the recently released India squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021 to be played in UAE from October 14 onwards.