World Cup 2019: Dilip Vengsarkar blames lack of Plan B
Veteran and former chief of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar says picking four 'keepers at the expense of pure batsmen cost India dear
Manchester: Dilip Vengsarkar is not only qualified to speak on playing in England because he is a former India captain and ex-chairman of selectors, it's also because he made four Test tours to England (1979, 1982, 1986 and 1990) and scored runs in Old Blighty including three consecutive centuries at Lord's. He was also part of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad.
Yesterday, the day after India exited the World Cup through an 18-run defeat to New Zealand, Dilip Vengsarkar slammed the Indian team think tank for featuring four wicketkeepers in the playing XI and ignoring the need for a pure batsman in their set up.
Dnesh Karthik walks back after being dismissed for six against New Zealand at Manchester on Wednesday. Pic/Getty Images
Vengsarkar was not at Old Trafford on Wednesday, but followed the proceedings on television from London. "I have been harping right from the time the team was picked that we need a pure No. 4 batsman if Virat [Kohli] and Rohit [Sharma] get out early. It didn't happen until the semi-finals because they scored runs in every match. When that eventually happened [the top three not scoring runs], we were found wanting while chasing 240 runs," Vengsarkar told mid-day yesterday.
"We were playing with four wicketkeepers, which was very baffling. This is the only team to do that. Never in history has this happened," he said. Dinesh Karthik was brought into the mix after India's loss to England at Edgbaston on June 30 to lend more depth to the batting.
"If you are playing Karthik as a pure batsman, then are the cupboards empty in India? Where are the batsmen who scored 900 runs, 1,000 and 1,200 runs in the Ranji Trophy? Are they not good enough or the Ranji Trophy standard is not good enough?
"I don't have anything against any player. I watched Karthik last year in England and he struggles [in these conditions]. You must know the conditions in England and it is a 50-over game, not a T20 match. You must have options ready and it is important to have Plan B ready as well. When you are playing with four wicketkeepers in the XI, what options do you have? You need to have four pure batsmen who have the potential to bat till the very end," he remarked.
Vengsarkar wants the BCCI to take stock of things. "There was also inconsistency in the playing XI. Plan A clicked all the time till semis. But when that didn't click, they had no Plan B in place. I know it will be a knee-jerk reaction, but the BCCI has to take a call on selection of playing XI and the contribution of the Indian team think tank," said Vengsarkar.
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