Former India National Cricket Team batter Mohammad Kaif has questioned the non-selection of the senior right-arm pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar in India’s ODI squad for the three-match series against New Zealand National Cricket Team.
The 32-year-old pacer Bhuvneshwar was a part of India’s squad for the three-match T20I series against the New Zealand National Cricket Team, but he was not included in the ODI squad. India’s pace-bowling unit for the ODI series against the Black Caps consists of Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur.
Speaking on Prime Video, Kaif stated that India’s biggest problem currently is their bowling. He elaborated:
“The main problem is bowling. If you see Shardul (Thakur) isn’t playing the 2nd ODI, you’ve sent (Mohammed) Siraj home, he could have played in the ODIs.
“Why is Bhuvneshwar Kumar not in the squad, I have no clue. He’s a good bowler, but he is not part of the squad. In the search for new players, we are losing out on the old ones. There’s a saying: in search of diamonds, we lost the gold.”
“You had good players in the squad so this shouldn’t be the case. If you’re backing someone, please do it nicely. The preparation starts from here, there’s no time for experiments. The months will pass away and suddenly you’ll find yourself approaching the World Cup. So you decide on the players and keep backing them,” he added.
Someone like Umran Malik, definitely, back him from here on – Mohammad Kaif
The 41-year-old feels that the tearaway pacer Umran Malik needs to be backed by the team management and he should be in India’s scheme of things for ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
“Umran Malik, the extra pace that we often talk about, (Jasprit) Bumrah got injured at the T20 World Cup, there was no one with that kind of pace. The three pacers – Arshdeep (Singh), Bhuvneshwar Kumar and (Mohammed) Shami all three of them bowl nearly at the same pace. In the World Cup we missed someone, who can bowl 145 cases per hour. Someone like Umran Malik, definitely, back him from here on,” he said.
Giving the example of Team England, Mohammad Kaif mentioned that having experienced players in the squad is always very beneficial. He said:
“The England team which won the World Cup recently, the average age of the squad was 31, so having experienced players always works someway or the other.
“And if India wants to start the preparations for the World Cup, they need to do it from here, the ongoing series against New Zealand. Because there are not many ODIs, maybe 25 till the World Cup.”