India right to recall Dravid for England ODI series
New Delhi: India have done the right thing by recalling Rahul Dravid to the ODI fold after a gap of almost two years but the decision has also exposed the team`s lack of experience in negotiating seaming conditions in England, feels former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram.
India, trailing 0-2 in a four-match Test series against England, recalled Dravid to the ODI and Twenty20 team to shore up a struggling line-up.
The 38-year-old right-hander, who last played an ODI in 2009, reacted to the "surprise" inclusion by announcing his retirement from limited-overs format at the end of the England series.
Akram said India have done the right thing as Dravid seems most adept at dealing with the conditions in England.
"Dravid`s technique is very good, and on difficult wickets he comes really into his own. He is one player who can play 50 overs. India need that kind of player right now, especially after what has happened in the first two Test matches," Akram said.
"Most of the young players in the Indian team do not have much experience of playing on seaming wickets. Experience is the need of the hour. Anyway, I do not think the Indian selectors had any choice in the matter," he added.
Dravid, who has over 10,000 runs in the 50-over format, scored two hundreds in the ongoing Test series.
But Akram did not approve of the inclusion of Vinay Kumar over S Sreesanth, who is already a part of the Test squad.
"Vinay has got variety in his bowling, he is also cool-headed and I think that went in his favour. Sreesanth, on the other hand, is a wicket-taking bowler, he swings the ball quite a lot but at the same time he can be wayward.”
"If I were to choose between the two, I would go for Sreesanth. It would also have done his confidence a world of good. He has got all the makings of a good bowler and he should be stuck with," Akram said.
Akram also sympathised with off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who has been ruled out for the rest of the England tour due to a stomach injury.
"He certainly looked unfit in the both the Tests. The injury was coming for him. He has been playing for ages and some day it had to take a toll on him.
"On the seamer-friendly wickets in England, he got no spin and that made matters worse. But he is a top quality bowler and will come back hard. He has still got a lot of cricket left in him," Akram said.
Akram also advised Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to go back to the drawing board following the poor batting performances so far in the Test series.
"It`s turning out to be the moment of truth for Dhoni. He has to work on his batting to overcome these seaming wickets," he said.
"Balance is key for batting and Dhoni`s stance doesn`t look nice and that has been his undoing. It is a learning experience and he should make the most of it," he added.