Akram says India are wasting Varun Aaron in England

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram (R) feels it would be silly to give Aaron a start on Indian wickets. On placid tracks where he will get little support, two bad matches in the start of his career can destroy him AFP

New Delhi: Sep 15, 2011

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram criticised the Indian team management in England for not fielding Varun Aaron in the one-day series, saying that the young paceman has been “wasted” in the seaming conditions which should have suited his bowling.

“I was expecting to see Aaron play the ODIs. But the Indian team management made a mess by not blooding Aaron in conditions that were tailor-made for the quickie. This raises questions about the communication between the selectors and the team management,” Akram said.

“I would rather blood Aaron in England because the seaming conditions are ideal for him. It will be silly to give Aaron a start on Indian wickets. On placid tracks where he will get little support, two bad matches in the start of his career can destroy him,” said the legendary fast bowler.

“In my book, Aaron has a future and India can ill afford to ruin him because the current pace attack is not in good shape and the future does not look bright,” Akram told ESPNStar.

Akram wondered why Aaron was named as replacement for Ishant Sharma only to make him do drinks-carrying duty.

“I sometimes wonder why we name replacements! Is it just to fill the numbers or for a purpose? Naming replacements when a frontline player breaks down must be done with a reason. It is foolish to fly in a deserving youngster and then ask him to carry drinks or bowl at the nets. India have done just that with Varun Aaron. The young bowler has been wasted in England.

“I had congratulated the Indian selectors when they picked Aaron as Ishant’s replacement. The young boy was the right choice as he had done well on the Emerging Players’ tour in Australia and deserved to be part of the Indian dressing room on a difficult tour of England,” Akram said.

Akram was impressed by the performance of both Parthiv Patel and Ajinkya Rahane who were drafted due to injuries to Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir.

“Ajinkya Rahane and Parthiv Patel have done well for themselves. I would like to see them playing for India in home conditions. Having done quite well on difficult English wickets, both deserve an opportunity when England tour India after the Champions League T20. More runs in their kitty will only give them additional confidence,” Akram said.

“Rahane and Patel should not be used as ‘plug-in’ players. Sachin Tendulkar’s decision to cut down on ODIs should open the gates for Rahane and Patel,” he said.

Akram said India should learn a lesson from the disappointing show in England that however a big a player is, his place should not be made for granted.

“Ironical it may be, but the players who have done well for India in the England series are turning out to be the ‘substitutes’! Ravindra Jadeja is another case in point. He has really looked good and can become the elusive all-rounder that India badly need.

“A useful contributor with bat and ball, Jadeja is a sharp fielder and deserves to get a long stint with the national team. He must not be overshadowed by the ‘big’ guns when they chose to return. No one must take their places for granted. This has been the biggest lesson from the England series,” he said. (PTI)