Former India batsman, VVS Laxman cited the heavy workload in the modern era as the reason for India not having a complete all-rounder like Kapil Dev. The closest any seam-bowling all-rounder in India has come to the 1983 World Cup-winning captain in the last 15 years is Hardik Pandya.
However, as VVS Laxman pointed out, though without naming, Pandya has not bowled or bowled little in the past year-and-half due to his back injuries. Even before the 2019 World Cup, Hardik had back issues, but continued bowling as a fifth bowler.
However, he didn’t bowl a single ball in the IPL last season for the Mumbai Indians; for India, he has recently started bowling regularly, but once again has halted it in the ongoing IPL 2021.
VVS Laxman reckons prospective all-rounders drop one of their two skills with time owing to the heavy workload.
“It’s a very difficult role being an all-rounder. Kapil paaji was someone who could take wickets and score runs. He was the ultimate match-winner for India. But with the amount of workload nowadays, it’s very, very difficult,” VVS Laxman said during a YouTube launch of a book written by Boria Majumdar at “Tata Literature Live Sports Yatras”.
“There were some glimpses from some players because they were focusing a lot on both the skills, ultimately with the amount of workload and matches the Indian team plays in three formats, it’s very difficult to manage.
“That player who has the ability to become a genuine all-rounder unfortunately gets injured and he has to compromise or he has to take a decision on either batting or bowling,” he asserted.
VVS Laxman picks Rishabh Pant to be India’s first-choice wicketkeeper for T20 World Cup
The 46-year-old has picked Rishabh Pant as the first-choice keeper-batsman for India for the T20 World Cup over the likes of KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, and Sanju Samson. The Sunrisers Hyderabad maintains that the Delhi Capitals captain has been in sublime form since the tour of Australia, and should definitely be amongst the first names on the team sheet in the T20 format.
“India is spoilt for choices. The way Sanju Samson has batted, kept and led Rajasthan Royals (in ongoing IPL), even though he did not have too much of experience (in captaining) a side. Then there’s Ishan Kishan. KL Rahul has done well whenever he got the gloves, and batted either top of the order or in the middle.
“But somehow I just feel Rishabh Pant is the player whom you should pick for the wicketkeeper-batsman slot. I will definitely go for Pant. Not only that he’s really improved and impressed everyone with his keeping abilities.
“But as a left-handed batsman, he’s someone who can take away the game from any opposition in any situation in the middle overs,” VVS Laxman stated.