After Team India’s dismal performance in the two-match Test series against New Zealand, captain Virat Kohli has highlighted the need of grooming the next crop of fast-bowlers. Kohli’s comments came after the likes of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah failed to live up to the expectations despite bowling in friendly conditions.
While New Zealand’s bowlers made lives difficult for Indian batsmen, the Indian bowlers failed to do the same for the opposition. Barring the first innings of the second Test, the New Zealand batsmen did not face much challenge from the bowlers. The hosts went on to win both the Tests to inflict a humiliating whitewash on the fancied visitors.
Virat Kohli, however, did not talk about the bowlers’ poor performance and instead spoke about their age and how they are not getting any younger. While Bumrah is expected to lead the pace pack for many more years, Ishant Sharma, who will be 32 this year and Mohammed Shami (29) have already reached the peak of their prowess. Not to forget, Umesh Yadav will turn 33 this year.
“These guys are not getting any younger so we need to be very careful and very aware and accept that these are situations that can potentially come up and have guys who can replace them and ready up and running as soon as possible,” Kohli told the journalists after the second Test as quoted by Outlook.
“From the point of view of the larger picture, we do need to recognise who are the next three-four guys that can keep the standard up because you don’t want to feel a void suddenly if a couple of guys miss out,” Kohli gave enough indications that they are zeroing in new talents with an eye on future.
‘Can’t squeeze the life out of individuals’: Virat Kohli
At a time when workload is has become a very crucial aspect for cricketers across the globe, Kohli threw his support behind his bowlers, saying that it’s inhuman to “squeeze the life out of individuals”. The India captain stated that India have already two-three bowlers in sight who they want to groom as back-ups.
“That’s what happens in cricket. Mini transitions happen every now and then, and you need to be aware of them. You can’t squeeze the life out of individuals, and when they are done, you have no back-up. I think we as a side are pretty aware that these things are quite possible,” Kohli said.
“Saini is one who has come into the system. We have two-three more that we have an eye on. We need to be very careful and we need to understand that this is one factor that has got us a lot of success and we need to make sure that standards are kept high,” the skipper added.
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