Legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev thinks that all-rounders are an extremely vital asset in any side. Team India currently has a lot of promising talent but the all-round department is an area where they can use more strength. Although the likes of Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin have done well for the side, only a limited set of players possess the tools to crack their place in the starting XI, especially in the T20I format.
Kapil Dev is regarded by many to be the finest all-rounder produced by the country. The former Indian captain was in a discussion with reputed sports journalist Ayaz Menon on HT NxT and discussed several things. Among them was India’s need to develop more all-rounders and the idea of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma bowling.
“For a captain, two all-rounders are very important – batting all-rounder and bowling all-rounder. Hardik is a batting all-rounder, while I was a bowling all-rounder. So, if a captain can have two such all-rounders in T20, it really helps them. The team becomes solid. You can go with two extra players who can take the responsibility of the team. But if you have one all-rounder, the captain struggles,” Kapil said.
“If one gets injured, you can still adjust. But if both all-rounders get injured then it can be very tough to adjust. So I would say… I look forward to two all-rounders: a batting all-rounder and a bowling all-rounder. Sachin Tendulkar or Sourav Ganguly were all-rounders who could bowl a few overs but were mainly batsmen. Players like Virat, Rohit don’t bowl at all, so it’s difficult in T20. Everybody should try to bowl a few overs every day to keep the rhythm going.”
India’s first World-Cup winning captain also touched on another interesting topic. The Haryana Hurricane is a big fan of competition and he feels that competition will only result in the benefit of the Indian side. He cited the example of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. Despite being among the greatest Indian all-rounders, especially in red-ball cricket, Ashwin was left out of the squad for the first four Tests against England and Jadeja received the nod instead.
“I think when you have competition, it’s always good. Like you have 2-3 batsmen like Virat and Rohit, you always want to be one step ahead of the other. So, it really helps if you have competition of that level. If you have 4-5 allrounders – Jadeja one of the finest allrounders and same with Ashwin. But he has to get more runs to be considered a better all-rounder. You have those types of allrounder in the team, it’s always good for the team because it gives the captain the option of picking a better team. Competition brings the best out everyone,” Kapil said.