VVS Laxman explains why India has not found a proper all-rounder since Kapil Dev
Hardik Pandya has struggled to keep up with the bat and the ball together because of injuries.
Updated - Apr 22, 2021 8:44 pm
Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman has opined that India has not produced a genuine all-rounder since Kapil Dev because of the amount of workload a single player has to take. Laxman spoke about the current Indian team, which plays a lot of matches and that too, in three formats, which doesn’t allow a single player to take the responsibility with both bat and ball.
Kapil Dev was the last genuine all-rounder who played for India. The ‘Haryana hurricane’ took 434 wickets in Test cricket for India while also scoring 5248 runs. In ODIs, he had 253 wickets and 3783 runs with the bat. Since he retired from international cricket in 1994, India has never really been able to find a proper all-rounder.
There was a brief time in the mid-2000s when Irfan Pathan was there in the frame. In recent times, Hardik Pandya has been thought to be someone who can become a good all-rounder for the Indian team. The youngster has been a good performer for India but he is far away from what Dev was.
VVS Laxman indirectly talks about Hardik Pandya’s struggles to keep up in both departments
“It’s a very difficult role being an all-rounder. Kapil paaji was someone who could take wickets and score runs. He was the ultimate match-winner for India. But with the amount of workload nowadays, it’s very, very difficult,” Laxman said during a YouTube launch of a book written by Boria Majumdar at “Tata Literature Live Sports Yatras”.
Laxman didn’t take Pandya’s name but pointed that all-rounders today face issues maintaining the workload of both batting and bowling in three formats. He shared how Pandya has struggled to keep up with the ball alongside the responsibility of the bat. Pandya in recent times has not bowled much, as he is recovering from an injury and managing his workload.
“There were some glimpses from some players because they were focusing a lot on both the skills, ultimately with the amount of workload and matches the Indian team plays in three formats, it’s very difficult to manage. That player who has the ability to become a genuine all-rounder, unfortunately, gets injured and he has to compromise or he has to take a decision on either batting or bowling,” said the former stylish batsman.
Laxman concluded by saying that players like Sunil Gavaskar, MS Dhoni, and Kapil Dev are generational and shouldn’t be compared with anyone.