Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav (IANS Photo)

Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar feels that Umesh Yadav, despite been given repeated chances, hasn’t proved his credentials as a reliable limited-overs bowler. (ALSO READ: India chase series-levelling win)

The criticism comes in the wake of India‘s last-over defeat to Australia in the first T20I in Vizag on Sunday. Having kept themselves alive in the low-scoring contest after posting 126/7, India lost the match in the final over, bowled by Umesh who failed to defend 14 runs. (ALSO READ: Bumrah threatening in all three formats – Cummins)

Gavaskar felt he should sit out from the series-decider to be played on Wednesday in Bengaluru. “Umesh Yadav, despite being around for such a long time, is not convincing as a white-ball bowler, so India could well do with a replacement for him,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for The Times of India.

Gavaskar, who played 125 Tests and 108 ODIs, also felt that Virat Kohli’s men underestimated Australia as they went in with just three specialist batsmen while packing the playing XI with finishers.

“The first thing that every team must realise especially in the ultra- short format of the game is never to underestimate any opponent. India may have just done that at Vizag as they went in with just three recognised batsmen with the likes of [Rishabh] Pant, [MS] Dhoni, [Dinesh] Karthik and [Krunal] Pandya to push the score along,” he wrote.

However, he pointed out that India had a couple of positives to take from the three-wicket defeat. “The plus point for India is [KL] Rahul s return to form and [Mayank] Markande showing good temperament under pressure,” he opined.

He added, “The fielding though with two wicketkeepers in the outfield meant that the extra run was always on for the Australians. India would do well to bring [Shikhar] Dhawan back and have Rahul at No.4.”

He said batting has been the biggest let down and should they fail to fire on Wednesday too, a second straight T20I series defeat is a real possibility. “India lost the T20 series in New Zealand with the batting letting them down and unless the top-order fires, they could lose this one too,” he wrote.