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New Delhi: Oct 3, 2012
Akram said India failed to get the balance of the team. The legendary fast bowler asked why Harbhajan Singh was left out against South Africa, who are vulnerable to spin.
“I am puzzled with the way the Indian team management has picked playing XIs. For example, I feel a wicket-taking bowler like Harbhajan Singh was missed against the ragged South Africans on Tuesday night,” Akram was quoted as saying by ESPNStar.com.
Akram also questioned the decision to allow Lakshmipathy Balaji bowl the last over against South Africa.
“There is a lesson in every defeat. For India, there are genuine concerns about its bowling and, of course, top order batting. A team is world class only when it is complete in every respect. India’s batting is one of the strongest in the world, but if you are expecting Zaheer Khan or a Balaji to win you a tight match every day, think again.
“Giving Balaji the last over against South Africa was suicidal. A bowler on a comeback is always short of confidence and I think India were lucky to win by a run on Tuesday night,” he said.
Akram feels that Zaheer cannot be playing all forms of the game.
“I have said before that Zaheer has to choose the format of cricket he wants to play. I can’t see him running in hard every ball and bamboozling batsmen with pace and movement.
“India must find replacements and very soon at that. India need fresh legs and stronger shoulders because they will be playing a series of matches at home from November,” he said.
The former Pakistan captain wondered what happened to India’s next generation of pacers like Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron.
“Where is Umesh Yadav? And Varun Aaron seems to be a forgotten name. With the new selection committee in place, both Umesh and Varun should be groomed to power India’s pace battery. I hear Varun is injured. I think the BCCI needs to get after him and pull him out of his problems. At least Umesh should have been in the T20 squad,” he said. (IANS)
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