Former Pakistani captain Salman Butt felt that the Indian team’s fitness standards are not up to par. He thinks teams like South Africa, Australia and England have better fit players than the current Indian team.
Speaking on his YouTube channel following India’s loss to Australia in the inaugural T20I on Tuesday, Salman Butt shed some light on the performance of the Men in Blue and said:
“Indian players are the highest paid cricketers in the world. They play maximum matches. You tell me why aren’t they the fittest? If we compare their body structure, teams like South Africa South, Australia and England are much better.”
“I would even say that 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 admitted that some players like Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja have set high fitness standards. However, he believes that KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant can further strengthen the Indian squad by improving their fitness and fielding.
The former cricketer said:
“I don’t know if others will talk about it or not, but in my opinion the physical form of Team India is not ideal. You remove Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and two or three others, but apart from them, the Other people’s fitness is not their strong point. Some experienced players are not at the level where they should be in terms of roster.”
“Virat Kohli set an example for others when it comes to fitness. Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya are so fit. They have outstanding physical shape but there are players like Rohit Sharma, even KL Rahul looked lethargic today, you know, Rishabh Pant. If they get fit, they will become more dangerous cricketers.”
‘Lack of pace is a serious concern for India’ – Salman Butt lists two major Men in Blue issues ahead of 2022 T20 World Cup
During the same YouTube video, Salman Butt mentioned that Indian team’s fielding is not the same without Ravindra Jadeja. He highlighted how KL Rahul and Axar Patel lost two big catches last night and said:
“There are question marks on India’s pitch. In the absence of Jadeja, India’s pitch in the depths is not the same. They are lowering the grips as well.”
Discussing India’s preparations for the T20 World Cup, Butt added that apart from the fielding, the team’s fast bowling department is also a major issue. He was unhappy with the way Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel used slower deliveries to take wickets in T20I cricket.
“The lack of pace is a serious concern for India. First they don’t have the pace, then they play slower. You already get hit for playing slow, then you play even slower,” said concluded Butt.
After a disappointing performance in the first game, India will hope to bounce back in the second game on Friday, September 23, in Nagpur.
Should Indian players work on their fitness ahead of the T20 World Cup 2022? Share your opinions in the comment box below.