Former Indian batter Sanjay Manjrekar has backed Rohit Sharma’s views that the team cannot afford to drop a pacer to make space for a spinner in the squad, as the pacer will play a key role in the Asia Cup and World Cup as well. Speaking about India’s World Cup triumph in 2011 at home, Manjrekar added that the pacer did the bulk of the work, with only Yuvraj Singh making a big impact as a spinner as well. However, India named their 17-member Asia Cup squad on Monday, August 21 where the selectors picked three left-arm spinners Kuldeep Yadav (wrist-spinner), Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel ahead of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
On the Star Sports/ESPN Cricinfo’s ‘Selection Day Live’ programme, Manjrekar said, “When India won in 2011, do we remember spinners getting a lot of wickets? It was just Yuvraj Singh in the middle that was used. People like Munaf Patel made an impact. Zaheer (Khan) led the attack. Small grounds and you see certain kind of pitches in the Test series that India plays at home. But come the World Cup, the curators will be working extra hard.”
“You are generally going to see flat belters; some grounds are going to be small. So your tendency is sort of to go towards the fast bowlers to control the game,” Manjrekar further added.
Meanwhile, former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody also backed the Indian selectors for not picking an off-spinner and dropping Chahal for Axar as well. He said that being specialist bowlers, Chahal and Kuldeep can not offer anything with the bat as well.
“Both Kuldeep and Chahal are specialist bowlers. Full stop. They don’t offer anything else. They can’t bat at No. 8 and have an impact in that batting line-up to give them depth.”I think that’s one of the things that has gone against Chahal. At the end of the day, when you are talking about no off-spinner, you’ve got Kuldeep turning the ball away from the left-handers. So, you’ve got that base covered. I don’t see a massive issue. If you had an extra spot, you may consider an off-spinner, but I just don’t think that squad needs it,” Tom Moody concluded.