“He is a far better cricketer” - Danish Kaneria picks Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s replacement in Team India’s T20I squad

New Zealand v India - 3rd T20
Team India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar Pic: Getty Images

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria reckons that all-rounder Deepak Chahar should replace experienced pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar in Team India’s T20I squad. While acknowledging that Chahar has had his struggles with injuries, Kaneria still called him a 'far better' player than Kumar.

Kumar was part of India’s T20I squad for the three-match series in New Zealand. Chahar, meanwhile, has been named in the one-day squad for the series that begins in Auckland on Friday (November 25).

According to Kaneria, the Indian management must start regularly backing Chahar over Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the T20I format. Speaking on his YouTube channel, he said:

“Yes, Deepak Chahar is injury prone, but he needs to be utilised well. He can be a very good player for the Indian team. Chahar should replace Bhuvneshwar Kumar in India’s T20I squad. I feel he is a far better cricketer than Bhuvneshwar.”

Highlighting Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s recent struggles with the ball, Kaneria said that his availability for the 2024 T20 World Cup is another factor that needs to be considered. He elaborated:

“Do you want a bowler who gives 35-40 runs in four overs? It’s time to move on from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. There is Prasidh Krishna and T Natarajan as well. The latter is a good left-armer, and India already have one in Arshdeep (Singh). As for Bhuvneshwar, will he be fit for the next World Cup two years down the line? Doesn’t seem so.”

The 32-year-old Kumar registered figures of 1/12 and 0/35 in the two T20Is against New Zealand. He had an impressive T20 World Cup campaign but struggled in the semifinal against England, conceding 25 runs in his two overs and going wicketless.

“He is a rough diamond” - Danish Kaneria urges India to groom Umran Malik

While discussing Team India’s fast bowling options, Kaneria also urged the Men in Blue to groom young fast bowler Umran Malik. He termed the 23-year-old a rough diamond who needs polishing. The former Pakistan player said:

“They should go with Umran Malik and give him that confidence. He can do wonders, not only in T20Is, but in Tests as well. But he needs to be readied first. He is a rough diamond and needs to be groomed and polished.

Making an assessment about the lack of genuine fast bowlers in Indian cricket, Kaneria concluded:

“To be honest, is there any other bowler in Indian cricket who bowls at 150 kph other than Umran Malik? You need such bowlers who have that excess pace. India have Prasidh Krishna and Kuldeep Sen, but they don’t bowl at 150 clicks.”
From scalping 4⃣ wickets apiece to the feeling of representing #TeamIndia, presenting bowling heroes from Napier - @mdsirajofficial & @arshdeepsinghh 🙌🙌 - by @ameyatilak Full interview 🔽 #NZvIND

Malik was part of the Indian squad in the T20I series against New Zealand but did not get a game.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert
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