Former India chief selector MSK Prasad feels that India are a pacer short in the upcoming T20 World Cup. India have gone in with just three fast bowlers – Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, while Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar will be with the squad as travelling reserves. Prasad feels since India will be playing most of their matches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, they should have included one more pacer in their squad. The second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is also being played in UAE and so far the surfaces in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have aided the pacers.
“It is a decent squad but I feel that they are one fast bowler short actually because we are playing majority of the matches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, so may be one more fast bowler could have been handy,” MyKhel quoted Prasad
“Had we played more matches in Sharjah, this was okay, but one fast bowler could have (been there) and more important with Hardik not bowling, I think it is a little cause of concern,” explained the 46-year-old.
India have Hardik Pandya in the squad, who has been selected as an all-rounder, but he has not bowled a single over in the IPL so far. Prasad was concerned about Hardik not bowling in IPL and said if he doesn’t bowl in the World Cup as well, it will disrupt the balance of the side. “I don’t know what exactly is the thought process because selectors must be knowing it, or the Board must be knowing it, but Hardik, if he doesn’t bowl then there will be little, I mean, the balance of the side will get a little affected,” said Prasad
The former cricketer also backed Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as India T20I skipper. “He has taken strain of captaincy across all formats, which is clearly visible right now on his individual performances. So, I think (it) must be a right decision to take,” said Prasad
India will open their T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan in Dubai on October 24. Ahead of the marquee clash, they will play a couple of warm-up games against Australia and England.
India’s squad for T20 World Cup- Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.
Standby Players– Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.