Lack of all-rounders is the reason why India fails to win an ICC tournament: Sunil Gavaskar

Team India

Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has pointed out that the reason for India not winning an ICC tournament since 2013 is the lack of all-rounders in the team. Gavaskar stated that the Indian team of 1983 World Cup, 1985 World Championship and the 2011 World Cup had a lot of all-rounders. He expressed his thoughts after the first ODI between India and South Africa which the visitors lost by 31 runs.

Batting first, Proteas posted a total of 296/4 as Temba Bavuma (110) and Rassie van der Dussen (129) scored centuries. In reply, India were cruising at 138/1 with Shikhar Dhawan (79) and Virat Kohli (51) batting at the crease. But their wickets in quick succession turned out to be a turning point of the game as the team lost the wickets of Shreyas Iyer (17), Rishabh Pant (16), Venkatesh Iyer (2) and Ravichandran Ashwin (7).

Only Shardul Thakur scored unbeaten 50 runs. India is currently trailing by 0-1 in the three-match series and will play the next game on January 21. They will be keen on leveling the series and taking it to the decider.

“There is only one reason why this team has been left disappointed in ICC tournaments (ODI and T20I). If you look at the teams that won the 1983 and 2011 World Cups or even the 1985 World Championship of Cricket-winning side, they were all full of outstanding all rounders,” Gavaskar said while speaking to Aaj Tak.

India had batters who could bowl and the bowlers who can bat, says Sunil Gavaskar

The former India skipper also added that the Indian teams in the past had batters who could bowl and bowlers who can bat. He cited the example of Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina who could bowl in the middle overs and also provide crucial breakthroughs to the team. Interestingly, Yuvraj won the Player of the Tournament award in 2011 World Cup for his all-round skills.

There were many batters who could bowl and the bowlers could bat. The numbers 6,7 and 8 requires all-rounders which all these victorious teams had. The likes of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina could bowl and bat very well. This is the one shortcoming that the Indian team has over the past two or three years, as a result of which the captain has not had many options and the team has lacked flexibility,” Gavaskar said while responding to a viewer’s question over lack of balance in this Indian side.