Gambhir criticises Kohli’s captaincy, says no other captain would give Bumrah two-over opening spell

New Delhi, Dec 1 (Bureau) Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir has criticised Virat Kohli’s captaincy, saying that India captain committed a tactical blunder by giving his premier pacer Jasprit Bumrah just a two-over opening spell in the series-conceding second ODI against Australia. Gambhir said that he could not understand Kohli’s decision to give Bumrah only two overs with the new ball and added that a five-over spell would have given pacer best opportunity to pick up wickets upfront.

‘I can’t understand the captaincy to be honest. We kept talking about how important is to take wickets upfront if we have to stop this kind of batting line-up and then you make your premier bowler bowl two overs. Normally, in a One Day game probably there are three spells of 4-3-3 overs. Or probably the maximum is four overs,’ Gambhir said on ESPNCricinfo’s post-match show. ‘But if you stop your premier fast bowler just by bowling two overs upfront with the news, I can’t understand that kind of captaincy. I probably can’t even explain that captaincy. It is not T20 cricket. I probably can’t understand the reason to be honest because that was poor captaincy,’ he added.

The cricketer-turned-politician also spoke about how India could have tried players like Washington Sundar or Shivam Dube if they were facing an issue with the sixth bowler. ‘They could have given someone like Washington Sundar or Shivam Dube or whoever was there in the squad to play the next game and see how they go into the one-day format. But if you don’t have anyone in Australia then it is a selection error as well,’ Gambhir said. ‘Unless and until you don’t judge someone you will never be able to find how good he is at the international level. India has not taken those options to Australia and those might come back to hurt them big time,’ he added. Australia, who have already sealed the three-match ODI series with victories in the first two matches will meet India for the final 50-over clash in Canberra on Wednesday.