~~Inexperienced bowling is India~~s Achilles heel~~

Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Pakistani bowling great Wasim Akram said inexperienced bowling attack, in the absence of Laxmipathi Balaji and Zaheer Khan, could pose problems for India in the Champions Trophy.

He said all the three countries from the sub-continent would be rated as favourites, but while India have a bowling problem, Sri Lanka looked a little rusty and Pakistan tormented by the captaincy row.

Strongly advocating for the inclusion of Zaheer Khan and Laxmipathi Balaji, Wasim, questioned the wisdom of keeping the two bowlers out of the Indian team for the ongoing Champions Trophy.

Terming India's bowling a weak spot, Wasim said the two experienced bowlers should have been in the team especially when Irfan Pathan was not in the best of form.

He also slammed the Indian team's experimentations with its batting order. ''Zaheer is bowling superbly and Laxmipathi has always been one of my favourites. He is a wicket taker. I can't understand the wisdom of leaving them out,'' he said.

''I fail to understand why so much experimentation is going on when India needs to have a set team before important tournaments." ''It could continue for the first two months after a new coach and captain take their charge.

But to stretch it so far is an overkill and I hear that they will continue doing that till the World Cup. It is inexplicable,'' Wasim said. ''If I were a fast bowler bowling now and knew Virender Sehwag will be batting at number four and Rahul Dravid will be opening the batting with Sachin Tendulkar I would have been so relieved.

I mean Sehwag is one of the world's best openers and why should one tamper with that,'' he questioned.

The 'Sultan of Swing', also came out in support of Pathan saying, ''he is a good player and will come out of the bad patch. What he needs is support from his team which will enable him to get back the confidence.'' ''He is doing a lot of practice at the nets. But he needs to realise that he is a bowler who can bat and not the reverse,'' he added.

When asked whether he would take up the role of the Indian team's bowling coach if offered, Wasim ducked the question with a smile, ''I want to live happily ever after.''


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