Dravid’s recall exposes India’s brittle batting order: Akram

August 7th, 2011 - 3:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan Singh New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels that the recall of Rahul Dravid in India’s ODI squad after a gap of two years exposes the inexperience in the team in negotiating seaming conditions in England.

“Dravid’s technique is very good, and on difficult wickets he comes really into his own. He is one player who can play 50 overs. India need that kind of player right now, especially after what has happened in the first two Test matches,” Akram was quoted as saying by ESPN Mobile.

“Most of the young players in the Indian team do not have much experience of playing on seaming wickets. Experience is the need of the hour. Anyway, I do not think the Indian selectors had any choice in the matter,” he added.

The former India captain, who has over 10,000 runs in ODIs, last played an ODI in 2009. Dravid, who led India in the disastrous 2007 World Cup, was also left out from the victorious 2011 World Cup squad.

But following his two hundreds in the ongoing Test series, Indian selectors named him in the 16-man ODI squad Saturday. But later in the day, the middle-order batsman announced his retirement from ODIs and T20Is after the England series.

“If he performs well in this series, he should be made a permanent fixture in the ODI team. Of course, he is not going to play in the 2015 World Cup but he should be in the team as long as he performs,” Akram said.

Akram said the inclusion of Vinay Kumar over Sreesanth, who is already part of the Test squad, in the ODI squad was wrong.

“Vinay has got variety in his bowling, he is also cool-headed and I think that went in his favour. Sreesanth, on the other hand, is a wicket-taking bowler, he swings the ball quite a lot but at the same time he can be wayward. If I were to choose between the two, I would go for Sreesanth. It would also have done his confidence a world of good. He has got all the makings of a good bowler and he should be stuck with,” Akram said.

Akram also sympathised with off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who has been dropped due to a stomach injury.

“He certainly looked unfit in the both the Tests. The injury was coming for him. He has been playing for ages, and some day it had to take a toll on him. On the seamer-friendly wickets in England, he got no spin and that made matters worse. But he is a top quality bowler and will come back hard. He has still got a lot of cricket left in him,” Akram said.

Akram also advised Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to work on his batting.

“It’s turning out to be the moment of truth for Dhoni. He has to work on his batting to overcome these seaming wickets. Balance is key for batting and Dhoni’s stance doesn’t look nice and that has been his undoing. It is a learning experience and he should make the most of it,” Akram said.

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