'India not producing genuine all-rounders like Kapil Dev because of workload'

Greater Kashmir

Former India batsman VVS Laxman on Thursday blamed too much workload of the players for the country not producing another genuine all-rounder of great Kapil Dev’s ilk.

Players like Hardik Pandya have been compared with legendary Kapil, the country’s first World Cup-winning captain.

“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”.

Without naming Hardik, Laxman said: “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. Coming from a lengthy layoff due to a back surgery, Hardik did not bowl for Mumbai Indians in the IPL last season in the UAE. In the ODI series against Australia, Hardik bowled five overs but did not play the ensuing Test series Down Under.

Hardik did not play in the four-match Test series against England earlier this year. He bowled in the subsequent T20I series, but did not do so in the first two ODIs against England. He returned to bowling duties in the final ODI. Laxman also said that it was “not right to compare any sort of all-rounder with the legendary Kapil”. “I just feel that there can be only one Kapil. It (comparison) will put undue pressure on the player. There can be only one MS Dhoni, or one Sunil Gavaskar.”