T20 World Cup: Anil Kumble wants India to address issue of batters who could bowl

New Delhi: Former India head coach Anil Kumble wants the side to address the issue of batters who could chip in with a few overs of bowling in the wake of Rohit Sharma-led side crashing out of Men’s T20 World Cup after losing to England by ten wickets in the semifinal.

India struggled to get going with the bat and despite posting a sub-par 168/6, including amassing 68 runs in the last five overs, England openers, captain Jos Buttler and Alex Hales, cruised to chasing down the target with four overs to spare at the Adelaide Oval.

“One thing that certainly needs to be addressed is batters coming on to bowl. Otherwise, you’ll end up having this conundrum whether to go with five bowlers, six bowlers.”

“I think if you have enough ability in the top 6 to give you two options, then I think it certainly opens up. You can pick and choose who you want at No. 7,” Kumble was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo after the match ended.

Kumble pointed out that England have been benefited by batters in their line-up who can bowl too. “What I see as something that certainly needs to be done is, how we keep talking about bowlers need to bat. But I think in Indian cricket, you need batters to bowl too for the balance of the team.”

“That’s exactly what England have. They had too many choices. They used Liam Livingstone. Moeen Ali has hardly bowled in this tournament. So those are the choices that you need.”

Kumble mentioned that India needs batters in the T20 team who can bowl as well as indulge in some power-hitting at the top. “Unfortunately even in the India A team that gets picked, it’s mostly batters who don’t bowl. It’s important to create that brand of cricket and say that this is how the Indian team is going to do it and it should follow right through the system.”

“I think the more and more you play T20s, it’s going to be like this, where you just come and show your power. So that’s exactly how I think T20 is going to go forward.”

Kumble opined that every player in the Indian T20 set-up should be assigned a specific role and once that is done, the team think-tank should stick to it in international cricket, adding that the same should be extended to domestic cricket too.

“One is of course having that brand of cricket and then choosing the players to do that but I think it’s also important that these players play their specific roles wherever they play.”

“Because it’s not about just playing that role for India and then going back to your domestic cricket and franchise cricket and then changing the way you’re going to go about it.”

“Because, for example, (Rishabh) Pant today (on Thursday) batted for India at No. 6, he walked in in the 19th over. He never does that in domestic cricket.”

“So you need some kind of role definition as well there and that’s something I think is very critical if you’re going to build a potent team where you need a back-up for those roles and not necessarily your six best players whatever role they can. It’s very difficult to do that in a World Cup.”

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