Kapil Dev slams practice of making too many changes in Indian cricket team
Kapil Dev lauded New Zealand after their thumping 10-wicket win over India in the first Test in Wellington, but also criticised the excessive tweaks in India’s XI “in almost every match.”
“We have to praise New Zealand. They are playing very good cricket. In the three ODIs and this Test match, they have been excellent.
“But if we analyse this match critically, well, I do not understand how one can make so many changes. There is a new (Indian) team in almost every match.
“No one in the team is permanent. If there is no security regarding your place in the side, it will affect the form of the players,” the former India captain and all-rounder told ABP News.
India made three changes in the XI from their previous Test match. Rohit Sharma was ruled out with injury even before the start of the series, making way for Prithvi Shaw. Ravichandran Ashwin and Rishabh Pant were preferred in place of Ravindra Jadeja and Wriddhiman Saha.
Kapil also lashed out at the Indian batsmen for not being able to adapt to the conditions. The three most experienced batsmen in the line-up — Cheteshwar Pujara, captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane — failed at the Basin Reserve with India failing to reach 200 in both innings.
“Such big names in the batting order and if you still cannot score even 200 runs in two innings, you have not been able to conquer the conditions. You have to focus more on planning and strategy,” he pointed out.
Kapil was also surprised by the omission of KL Rahul from the Test squad.
Rahul was adjudged Man of the Series in the T20I series, which India won 5-0.
“I do not understand. There is a lot of difference between when we played and what is happening now.
“When you build a team, you have to give confidence to the players. When there are so many changes made, it does not make sense.
“The team management believes in format-specific players. But Rahul is in great form and yet if he is sitting out, it really does not make sense.
“I believe when a player is in form, he needs to play,” Kapil added.
[Another former captain Gundappa Viswanath had also questioned the selectors’ move to not include Rahul in the Test squad.
[“He (Rahul) is the man in form. He should have stayed back. Period,” Vishy had told The Telegraph.]
Kapil, though, had earlier come up with his piece of advice for Pant, who made a comeback in the Test squad after almost six months. Before Wellington, Pant had last played a Test back in August last year during India’s tour of the West Indies.
“I would tell Pant not to get disheartened and prove people wrong by saying there’s still a lot of cricket left in him. We all know he’s talented. But he has to make the most of the chances he gets,” Kapil had said.
He had also advised Pant to stay patient by quoting Sunil Gavaskar’s example. “Sunil Gavaskar always used to say that if you want to make a 100, then get to 20 first, then 25, 50, 60 and go on. Pant has to think that way and shouldn’t think too far ahead,” he had said.