Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt said the fitness standards of the Indian team are not up to par. He believes teams like South Africa, Australia and England have fitter players than the current Indian side.
Speaking on his YouTube channel after India’s defeat by Australia in the first T20I on Tuesday, Salman Butt said:
“Indian players are the highest paid cricketers in the world. They play the maximum number of games. Tell me why they are not the fittest? If we compare their body structure, teams like South Africa, 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 there are some players like Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja who have set high fitness standards. However, he believes players like KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant can further strengthen the Indian team by improving their fitness and field.
The former cricketer explained:
“I don’t know if others will talk about it or not but in my opinion Team India’s fitness is not ideal. They remove Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and two to three others, but apart from them, the fitness of others isn’t their strong point. Some veteran players aren’t at the level they should be in terms of fielding.
“Virat Kohli set an example for others in terms of fitness. Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya are so fit. They have excellent fitness but there are players like Rohit Sharma, even KL Rahul looked lethargic today, you know Rishabh Pant. If they pass, they become more dangerous cricketers.”
‘Lack of pace is a serious problem for India’ – Salman Butt lists two key issues facing the men in blue ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup
In the same YouTube video, Salman Butt mentioned that the Indian team’s field is not the same without Ravindra Jadeja. Pointing out how KL Rahul and Axar Patel dropped two important catches last night, he said:
“There are question marks over India’s field deployment. In Jadeja’s absence, India’s field deployment at depth is not the same. They also drop catches.”
Speaking of India’s preparations for the T20 World Cup, Butt added that along with fielding, the team’s fast bowling department is also an important issue. He was not happy with the way Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel used slower deliveries to take wickets in T20I cricket.
“Lack of pace is a serious problem for India. First, they don’t have the right pace, and then they bowl slower. You’re already being beaten for slow bowling and then you bowl even slower,” Butt concluded.
After a stunning performance in the first game, India will hope to bounce back in the second game on Friday 23 September in Nagpur.
Should the Indian players work on their fitness ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup? Share your views in the comments box below.
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