Bengaluru, March 31: Former Indian captain Dilip Vengsarkar expressed disappointment over the fact that India did not play a single reserve-bench player in the just-concluded tournament Down Under.
In a column written in Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika, Vengsarkar, who is popularly known as Colonel, said he was disappointed to see that players like Ambati Rayudu and Axar Patel were not played in a single game.
The only time Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side decided to change the playing eleven was against minnows UAE at Perth when Bhuvaneshwar Kumar replaced an injured Mohammad Shami. "But that apart, the team management couldn't show the courage to play the reserve players," Vengsarkar said in his column.
He praised Australia on the same point, saying the home team fielded its reserve players and said this is the reason why they never miss a player even if he retired. "They never face any problem for replacing players for they have a sound system in place," the former cricketer wrote.
Vengsarkar said not many new players have been given a chance in India's playing elevent since the exit of players like Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. He said players like Axar Patel should be made to play games or else their confidence would never increase. He felt the current Indian team looks like a small club which is very conservative about new membership.
Vengsarkar, who was a member of India's World Cup-winning squad in 1983, however, backed the performance of Dhoni's men in this World Cup. India beat two Pakistan and South Africa to begin their World Cup campaign with a bang and went on to win another five matches in the row before losing to eventual champions Australia in the semifinal in Sydney.
Vengsarkar, 58, praised India's batters and said all bowlers except Ravindra Jadeja looked in rhythm during the tournament. He also thought India to be a brilliant fielding unit in the tournament.