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India's World Cup bowling attack a worry: Azharuddin

January 09, 2015 18:12 IST

Mohammed Shami of India appeals successfully for the wicket of Steve Smith of Australia during day four of the fourth Test match. Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images

Former captain Mohammad Azharuddin said that even though India's 15-man squad for the upcoming World Cup looks balanced, the bowling attack does seem to pose a worry for the Virat Kohli-led team.

"It is a balanced team, but my only worry is bowling. With the way they have bowled in Australia (in Test series) has not done well. Bowlers are really getting tired," Azhar said at the launch of his cricket academy.

"After the (upcoming) triangular series, it remains to be seen how fit the bowlers are and how much potential they play up. But they will have to work hard as Australia and New Zealand are different places," added the 51-year-old player.

‘As a captain, Kohli should contain his aggressive approach a little bit’ 

Ravichandran Ashwin of India (R) and capatin Virat Kohli of India celebrate after dismissing David Warner of Australia during day four of the fourth Test match. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Noting that the World Cup squad has the "right mix of youngsters", Azharuddin expressed hope that the team would live up to its potential in 50-over showpiece event. But Azhar advised the young leader in Kohli to curb his aggression.

"It (aggression) is good. I want players to be aggressive in their game. But as a captain, he (Kohli) should contain his aggressive approach a little bit. Then he can be a great captain like he is already a great player," he said.

‘Yuvraj should continue to play as he can play for another 4-5 years’ 

Yuvraj Singh. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Asked about left-handed batsman Yuvraj Singh's snub by the national selectors, Azhar said that the selectors have been harsh on some seniors.

"He (Yuvraj Singh) was not picked up among probables so it was difficult for the selectors to select him (for the world cup team) like (Virender) Sehwag, (Gautam) Gambhir and 2-3 other players more were not selected.

“I think selectors have not given much weightage to the performance in the domestic Ranji game. I think before that whatever matches Yuvraj or Sehwag (Virender) played was not up to the mark which went against them," he said.

Azhar also opined that the talented Yuvraj still has a lot of cricket left in him.

"I am also a big fan of him and I also respect him a lot (But) selectors' squad which has selected is the best squad. I also feel sorry for him (Yuvraj)," Azhar said.

"Thirty two years is not a big age. I think he will get a chance and should continue to play as he can play for another 4-5 years. He should not feel bad and if he works hard, he will certainly get a chance," he added.

‘Dhoni could have played another Test match’ 

MS Dhoni. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Asked about the sudden retirement announced by Mahendra Singh Dhoni from Test cricket, Azharuddin said, though it was a personal decision, but felt that the wicket-keeper batsman could have called it a day after the ongoing series in Australia.

"It is his personal decision. But he (Dhoni) could have played another Test match or after series the series, then he could have announced his retirement but we should respect his decision," he said.

Azhar also backed Kohli, saying the youngster will eventually succeed Dhoni in the ODIs and T20 cricket as well. Never a fan of aggressive on-field behaviour himself, Azhar wants a curb on sledging in cricket.

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