The Indian men’s cricket team is not looking in the best shape and that was visible yet again during the 1st T20I against Australia in Mohali on Tuesday. Just days after their unceremonious exit from the Asia Cup after back-to-back losses to Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the Indian team failed to defend a 200-run plus target and as a result conceded a 0-1 lead to Australia in the three-match series.
Indian fast bowlers lacked bite and the fielding left a lot to be desired as the players dropped important catches to allow Australia chase down the target easily.
Speaking about India’s performance, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt singled out lack of fitness and pace as India’s two big problems ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.
“I don’t know if others will talk about this or not, but in my view, Team India’s fitness is not ideal. Apart from the likes of Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya, fitness is not their strongest point. Some of the key and outstanding are not outstanding on the field. They lack pace in bowling and they don’t take their chances in the filed,” Butt said on his Youtube channel.
“KL Rahul dropped a catch in the field. He seemed so lethargic as he approached the ball. Axar also dropped a catch at mid-wicket. So, if you drop such catches then batters won’t give you another chance.
“Pace bowling and fitness are worrying signs for India ahead of the World Cup,” he added.
Butt came down hard on the fitness if Indian players and even named the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant who he thinks need to do better on the field and also improve their fitness.
“Indian players are the highest-paid cricketers in the world. They play the maximum number of matches. You tell me why is their fitness not up to the mark? If we compare their fitness with others teams like South Africa, Australia and England, the Indians are no match. I would even say some Asian teams are ahead of India. Some Indian players are overweight. I think they need to work on that because they are brilliant cricketers,” Butt said on his Youtube channel.
“Virat Kohli has set an example for others in fitness. Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya are so fit. They have outstanding fitness, but there are players like Rohit Sharma, even KL Rahul looked lethargic today, you know, Rishabh Pant. If they become fit, they will become more dangerous cricketers,” he added.