In the past, India had many part-time bowlers.
The presence helped improve the balance of the Indian Team massively.
Part-time bowlers are crucial in getting through the sixth bowler’s overs as they provide sufficient cushion to the captain.
Players like Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, and Suresh Raina were good with the bat and very handy with the ball.
They managed to rush through some quick overs, giving the captain options in the end.
The bowlers also managed to pick up wickets and found some success in the middle-overs.
If you look a little further, you have two of the best openers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.
Both of them were among the best batsmen, but they were more than handy with the ball.
To prove it, Sachin Tendulkar has over 150 ODI wickets, while Sourav Ganguly has also taken the new ball for India in test cricket.
Even Rohit Sharma has bowled in the past while Kedar Jadhav was the most recent part-timer to find success.
The bowlers in previous teams as well had decent batting credentials.
Though reckless at times, Zaheer Khan could swing the bat as Shami does now, while Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble have some good numbers with the bat.
These two are an example of how bowlers could bat to some extent.
The current side has gone too one dimensional with batsmen not bowling and bowlers not batting.
The batting goes to number seven, while the players beyond them are not the greatest lower-order batsmen.
The batting depth is undoubtedly an issue for the side as it lacks all-rounders, but the main problem comes with the lack of part-timers.
Playing just five bowlers on a flat pitch is asking for trouble.
Of the five bowlers, one of them is an all-rounder, while Navdeep Saini is inexperienced.
In cricket, any bowler can have a bad day, and when a bowler does have a bad day, it’s not a crime.
On a given day, the ball may not pitch in the right areas, which is why a bowler having a lousy day is common.
To get all five bowlers firing on the same day is instead a rare sight.
To not have extra options to excuse that bowler for the day is an issue, though.
During the first ODI, every bowler leaked runs, with Saini and Chahal going for the most.
Jadeja and Shami finished with decent economy rates compared to the rest, but India missed an extra part-time bowler.
The only part-time bowler on the side was Virat Kohli, who himself hasn’t bowled in a while.
The lack of part-time bowlers seemed clear and contrasting to the teams of the past.
It shows how India has become one-dimensional in a time when teams are looking for multi-dimensional players.
A year ago, the side decided to improve its balance by bringing Jadeja into the side.
Before his entry, the batting line-up consisted of a long tail from number seven.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s absence hurts the side further as he is a skillful bowler and decent with the bat.
Jadeja is a good bowler and isn’t as attacking in the middle-overs as Kuldeep or Chahal, which is one small issue.
In the past few months, India tried solving the lack of part-time bowlers by including players like Vijay Shankar, Shivam Dube, and Krunal Pandya in the side.
While they were given chances in either of the two formats, neither could cement a place based on any skills.
With neither of them cementing their place, India has been left with just Virat Kohli as an option to bowl part-time.
The other players who have been tried have either struggled or been reported for their actions.
The lack of part-timers is what has been affecting the Indians.
As mentioned above, any bowler can go a day without pitching the ball in the right areas.
If the captain doesn’t have options to react to such a situation, the TeamTeam could be in deep trouble.
Whatever may be the situation, the solution to find a part-time bowler may take some time.
In the current ODI squad, India has only got Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya, who can bowl.
With Hardik Pandya not ready to bowl, Virat Kohli may have to take it upon himself to bowl some overs.
In case Pandya had been fit, India may not have faced many issues.
In Pandya, they would have had an extra bowling option to cover for the frontline bowlers.
The side would still likely miss out on batting depth, though, with Jadeja at seven being the last proper batsman.
Rather than an extra frontline bowler, however, India would love to find a superior part-time bowler.
They have had an abundance of part-timers in the past, but with workload and throwdown specialists, batsmen have not willingly picked up the ball.
The batsmen pick up the ball and try to develop an additional skill to provide the side with more options.
To sum it up, the next generation of batsmen need to find bowling fun like how Sachin Tendulkar did in his development years.
For the current series, though, India will need to hope their frontline bowlers succeed in the absence of part-time bowlers.
In case they don’t succeed the best, we can hope it is for a few quiet overs from Virat Kohli, who has been an occasionally capable bowler for India in the past.