Ex-Pakistan captain slams Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant, says 'some Indian players are overweight'
Team India failed to defend a daunting score of 208/6 against Australia in the first T20I on September 20 (Tuesday). Three seasoned Indian bowlers - Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal - conceded more than 40 runs in their spell as the Baggy Greens batters feasted on some lackluster bowling. Having said that, poor bowling was not the only reason why the Men in Blue lost the Mohali T20I. Indian fielders' inability to be clinical on the field cost the team dearly.
Axar Patel, KL Rahul and Harshal Patel dropped catches and handed additional life to Aussie batters. As it turned out, India ended up paying a heavy price.
Reflecting on India's performance in the first T20I against Australia, former Pakistan batter Salman Butt pointed out the lack of fitness among Indian players, which will become a major issue for them moving forward.
"I don't know if others will talk about this or not, but in my view, Team India's fitness is not ideal. Apart from the likes of Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya, fitness is not their strongest point. Some of the key and outstanding are not outstanding on the field. They lack pace in bowling and they don't take their chances in the filed," Butt said on his Youtube channel.
"KL Rahul dropped a catch in the field. He seemed so lethargic as he approached the ball. Axar also dropped a catch at mid-wicket. So, if you drop such catches then batters won't give you another chance.
"Pace bowling and fitness are worrying signs for India ahead of the World Cup," he added.
The former Pakistan opener didn't mince words and went as far as calling some Indian players 'overweight'.
"Indian players are the highest-paid cricketers in the world. They play the maximum number of matches. You tell me why is their fitness not up to the mark? If we compare their fitness with others teams like South Africa, Australia and England, the Indians are no match. I would even say some Asian teams are ahead of India. Some Indian players are overweight. I think they need to work on that because they are brilliant cricketers," he continued.
"Virat Kohli has set an example for others in fitness. Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya are so fit. They have outstanding fitness, but there are players like Rohit Sharma, even KL Rahul looked lethargic today, you know, Rishabh Pant. If they become fit, they will become more dangerous cricketers," he added.