Rahul Dravid feels inexperienced Indian pacers need to bowl better in the slog overs and the challenge to hone their skills should be skipper MS Dhoni's top priority ahead of the World Cup next year.
In an interview to a national daily, Dravid said the Indian bowling has struggled in New Zealand - the main reason for India's series defeat. "India don't seem to have one guy whom Dhoni can turn to and know he will deliver the goods, which is tough for him as a captain," said the veteran of 164 Tests and 344 ODIs. " If he looks around the field, and if he isn't sure who he can go to, his 'banker' so to speak, it does become difficult."
Team India has played four seamers in the current tour. While Ishant Sharma has been the most unimpressive of them, the other three - Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Varun Aaron - have been ordinary too. "It's a young, inexperienced bowling attack. It's a challenge for Duncan Fletcher (coach) and Dhoni to identify individuals who can be trusted with roles given to them," said Dravid. Interestingly, the troika of Shami, Bhuvneshwar and Aaron have a combined ODI tally of just 60 matches - a paltry number when compared to 200 ODIs that veteran Zaheer Khan has featured in.
Dravid though, feels bringing Zaheer back won't be an easy solution. " Someone of his (Zaheer's) skill and experience can add a value to a side. The question is: whether he can handle the load of playing all forms of the game and how long can he do that? If he plays every game till the WC, will he survive till then?" said Dravid.
Dravid is not alone in questioning India's fast bowling. While Dhoni himself urged his bowlers to 'use their brains' after his team's loss in the 4th ODI last Tuesday, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar told NDTV that, based on current form, it would be difficult for India to defend their World Cup title. "Indian bowlers are making the same mistakes over and over. Are they not practicing? It will be very, very difficult for this side to defend World Cup title based on current form," he had said.