Shardul Thakur opened the bowling for India in Auckland. Pic: Getty Images

“Where have those fast bowlers, who were bowling 140 kph till last year, disappeared?” - Rajkumar Sharma questions BCCI’s rehab programme

Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma has raised questions over BCCI’s rehabilitation programme, highlighting the lack of fast-bowling options in the white ball squad playing in New Zealand. Saying that Team India had a pool of 8-10 fast bowlers till last year, he lamented that most of them are either injured or battling fitness issues now.

The Men in Blue went into the first one-dayer against New Zealand in Auckland with only three pace-bowling options. Two of them, Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh, were debutants. While Malik claimed a couple of wickets, Singh struggled and registered figures of 0-68 from 8.1 overs.

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The third pace-bowling option for Team India in Auckland, Shardul Thakur, also proved expensive. He went for 63 in nine overs while claiming only one wicket. In a discussion on India News, Sharma questioned the sudden dearth of fast bowlers in Indian cricket. He asked:

“Where have those fast bowlers, who were bowling 140 kph till last year, disappeared? Why didn’t we preserve and rotate them? Why didn’t we manage them? It’s not like they have left India. They are still here but are injured. Why is our rehab not working? Why do we have to suddenly scamper in search of fast bowlers?"

Backing Sharma’s views, former India keeper-batter Saba Karim said that something is definitely wrong with the system if so many fast bowlers are getting injured frequently. He elaborated:

“If we are looking after the workload management of players, why are so many fast bowlers getting injured? Definitely something is going wrong somewhere. It wasn’t happening earlier.”
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He also batted for pace-bowling all-rounder Deepak Chahar to replace Thakur in the Indian playing XI for the second ODI on Sunday (November 27) in Hamilton. Karim added:

“Among the available resources now, I want Deepak Chahar to play. Between Chahar and Shardul Thakur, you would prefer Chahar as the opening bowler. Chahar can also do the job with the bat. Playing Thakur is a defensive move.”

Team India failed to defend 306 in the first ODI against the Kiwis, as Tom Latham (145*) and Kane Williamson (94*) added an unbeaten 221 runs for the fourth wicket.

Among current Indian fast bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah is recuperating from a back injury, while Prasidh Krishna picked up a back injury in September.


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“Chahal should get one more chance” - Rajkumar Sharma on Team India spinner

Apart from the pacers, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal also proved ineffective in Auckland. He registered figures of 0-67 from his ten overs.

Asked if Team India could replace him with left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, Sharma said that he would stick with Chahal. He explained:

“Chahal is an attacking bowler. But he was benched right through the T20 World Cup, despite being the team’s premier spinner. His confidence might have taken a hit."

He continued:

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"When you have to sit out constantly, you also start doubting your own ability. It affects your confidence. Kuldeep could be an option. He too has come back well from a down phase. But I still feel Chahal should get one more chance. He has that experience,” Sharma concluded.
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Kuldeep Yadav was Player of the Match in his last ODI for figures of 4-18, which were registered against South Africa in Delhi in October.

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Edited by
Renin Wilben Albert
 
 
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