New Delhi: Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Wednesday said that the Indian team management must think of including all-rounder Irfan Pathan in the team as he may come handy with the bat as well as on the field.
After the 0-4 drubbing in the Test series, the induction of the limited overs specialists didn`t bring about any change in the script as neither the batsmen nor the bowlers could create any sort of impact and India lost the first Twenty20 International by 31 runs against Australia at Sydney on Wednesday.
"It is important to look at the all-round options. Twenty20 is harsh on the bowlers. So it is always an advantage if you have bowlers, who can come in handy with the bat and also are good fielders.
"Hence, India must think of including Irfan Pathan as he can not only come in handy as an all-rounder but the fact that he is a left hander, may also prove good for India," insisted Gavaskar.
The former cricketer also emphasised that captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who today top-scored for India with an unbeaten 48, must lead from the front.
"Dhoni today was so good, he must look to come up the order and as a skipper show the way. It always helps."
Gavaskar also pressed for the inclusion of another specialist spinner into the side as he felt that they can slow things down.
"I think the spinners looked better. In this format, the ball comes on to the bat easily. So India must think of including another specialist spinner into the team. We could see that (David) Hussey bowled well and slowed things down."
Gavaskar feels that in huge grounds in Australia, playing big shots at times can invite trouble.
"Australia has big grounds, so it is always difficult to play big shots. I think India should look to take 2s and 3s more than going for the big hits," Gavaskar said.
The 62-year-old insisted that in the shortest version of the game, a team needs athletes and felt India lack in this aspect.
"You need athletes. Fitness is very important in T20. The runs you save, are the runs scored for your team. Running on that 22 yards is very crucial. But apart from a few players, the Indians are generally slow. And that is where they lose out. The other teams are more athletic than India," said Gavaskar.
"I would say, fielding wise Indians are not doing anything wrong but as far as running between the wickets is concerned, while Aussies take 2s or 3s, India just stick to ones. So that is where the difference is," he added.
Stating that it was not the end of the road for the opening pair in Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, the former skipper said, "They (Sehwag-Gambhir) are going through the horrors at the moment. But this is not an end to their partnership. They still have a lot to contribute.
"This (opening slot) is one position in cricket that is hard to find and we must give them some more time. Yes, they have not scored runs off late but in the past they did well."