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Unfortunately India doesn't have too many all-rounders in top-six: Shastri

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Dubai, Nov 9 (IANS) Outgoing India cricket team coach Ravi Shastri wants “a couple of guys” in the top-six who can roll their arm over as per the requirement of the side to give it more options in the shortest format of the game, following all-rounder Hardik Pandya coming a cropper with the ball in the ICC T20 World Cup.

Pandya bowled a total of four overs in the five ‘Super 12’ games at the ICC T20 World Cup and was unimpressive with both the ball and the bat. There was a question mark over his fitness even during the Indian Premier League and he did not bowl even a single over for Mumbai Indians in the tournament, with skipper Rohit Sharma and bowling coach Shane Bond coming up with unconvincing answers as to why the all-rounder wasn’t be given the ball.

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The overreliance on Pandya’s ‘all-round’ ability was one of the reasons for India’s debacle here and Shastri said that going forward it would help Team India to have a couple of players in the top order who “can bowl as well”.

Asked if he saw a space in the team for a few all-rounders after Pandya’s flop show, Shastri said, “I think it always helps when you have one or two players in the top order who can bowl. We’ve always had that in the past.”

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Shastri said that it was unfortunate the team didn’t have “one or two players in the top order who can bowl” as well.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have too many now. So that might be the way to go, to ensure that in the top six you have a couple of guys who can roll their arm over. Even if it’s four overs between them, that will help,” said Shastri.

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On the other areas he thought India needed to improve, Shastri said that separate captains for separate formats was one of them.

“I think it’s (split captaincy) not such a bad thing because of the bubble and because of the amount of cricket being played. The players need to be rotated around and given the space they need to spend some time with their families, see their parents. Like I said, when a guy doesn’t go home for six months, he might have his family with him, but if he’s got parents and other family and you don’t get a chance to see them, it’s not easy at all.

“So I think it’s not such a bad thing. I think in Rohit you’ve got a very capable guy. He’s won so many IPLs. He’s the vice-captain of this side. He’s waiting in the wings to take that job,” added Shastri.

–IANS

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