Former India cricketer, Suresh Raina has opined that it is vital for a team’s balance that few batsmen, if not all, in the eleven chip in with some overs. Raina, who himself was used as a part-time option regularly by MS Dhoni for India and Chennai Super Kings, understands that the Indian team lacks a proper sixth bowling option since Hardik Pandya is not allowed to bowl owing to his back injury.
For the past few years, the talking point in the Indian team has been that none of the top-order batsman bowl. Kedar Jadhav used to provide support with his spin, but he is not in the setup anymore.
Hardik Pandya suffered a back injury in the 2018 Asia Cup. While he did bowl in the World Cup last year, however, it seems that it only aggravated his injury further. Pandya didn’t bowl a single over in the IPL 2020 while he played for Mumbai Indians. He is now playing in the team as a pure batsman.
In the second ODI against Australia, it was surprising – as well as amusing – to see Mayank Agarwal being called to bowl after each of the first-choice five bowlers were taken for runs by the Aussie batsman.
Such was the desperation to have someone else bowl, Virat Kohli after being found searching for another bowling option summoned Hardik Pandya the next over. In order to put less strain on his back, Hardik has remodelled his action and bowled with slower speeds. It was also concerning that Pandya may risk aggravating his injury.
It is very important for a batsman to bowl: Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina reckons that is important for a batsman to bowl and a bowler to bat as it gives a balance to the team and also provides options for the captain. A part-timer is useful if any frontline bowler is having a bad day.
As quoted by Timesnownews.com, Suresh Raina said, “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.”
Suresh Raina, who has over 50 international wickets, pointed out that the Indian team in the previous era had Yuvraj Singh as the all-rounder in the 2011 World Cup, along with himself, Sachin Tendulkar, and Virender Sehwag used to chip in with a few overs as to take the pressure off the other bowlers.
The 34-year-old understands that bowling is a tough job, but then it would help the captain if he has options at his disposal.
“Sachin paaji bowled, Viru bhai took a lot of wickets. Yuvi paaji helped us win the World Cup with the momentum. 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,” Suresh Raina added.