After India’s crucial 67-run win over Sri Lanka in the opening game of the three-match ODI series, former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer said that four bowlers who cannot bat at all is a cause of concern for the Men in Blue. Batting first in Guwahati, the Indian team posted a mammoth score of 373/7 but at one stage it looked like the hosts would easily cross the 400-run mark.
But, with the batting of Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, India managed only 17 runs in the last three overs. Jaffer said that Shami coming in to bat at number eight is a matter of concern for India and they need to look into it.
He said, ‘We saw Mohammed Shami coming at number eight and it is a matter of concern for me. Although India scored 370 runs, they could only manage 17 runs in the last three overs as Shami and Mohammed Siraj were batting. This is a matter of concern, especially during run-chase when they lose wickets and need 8-10 runs per over. If Shami comes in at number eight, it is worrying how India can chase it down,” Jaffer said while speaking to ESPNcricinfo.
The Indian management went into the first ODI with three specialist pace options in the form of Mohammed Shami, Umran Malik and Mohammed Siraj and one leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. All four of these bowlers offered little with the bat and Jaffer feels India need to assess whether they can go with just two specialist seamers and Hardik Pandya or play more all-rounders like Washington Sundar or Shardul Thakur Huh.
“Going forward, India will have to address this and assess whether they can go with two fast bowlers with Hardik Pandya or play all-rounders like Washington Sundar or Shardul Thakur, as no batsman can bat after number seven. Not there. This is a gray area that India must work on, although from a bowling perspective it is royalty as three fast bowlers can bowl above 140. You also have a leg-spinner but four bowlers who can’t bat is a matter of concern.