A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Anil Kumble believes Mohammad Kaif can fill Rahul Dravid’s shoes in current Indian team

Kumble feels as though Kaif has been overlooked by the Indian selectors

Former India captain and spin bowling maestro Anil Kumble as announced that he believes the selection committee should consider adding Mohammad Kaif to the Indian Test team roster.

Kumble feels as if Kaif, who last played for India in 2006, will add experience to a new and younger side, after the retirement of batting legend Rahul Dravid.

Kumble noted that India will lose out on having experience and a class batsman on their squad if the selectors don’t consider Kaif.

Speaking exclusively to Wisden India, Kumble said: “Kaif is only 31, and I believe this is the time when, as a batsman, you are nearing the peak of your powers, he has been consistent in domestic cricket, had a good last season, and he continues to be a brilliant fielder. As much as anything else, he has great attitude, so I don’t see why they should not look at him at the Test level. I really am at a loss to figure out where and why he missed out.”

Kaif gave up the captaincy for Uttar Pradesh before the start of the 2011 to 2012 season, but ended up making 537 runs in the last Ranji Trophy, at an average of 59.66.

Kaif has represented India in 13 Test matches, which have been spread over a period of six years, during which he scored 624 runs at an average of 32.84.

His only Test century came in his last series against the West Indies in mid-2006, where he averaged 56.50, with Dravid being the only other player on the Indian team having a superior average.

“I think that was the time when a lot of flamboyant cricketers came to the fore – the likes of [Suresh] Raina, Rohit [Sharma] and, a little later, [Virat] Kohli, Kaif has always been a solid, disciplined performer, and perhaps in the clamour for flamboyance, the selectors lost track of him. He has the experience and the technique to do well, as he has shown in the past. I can understand the selectors wanting to look ahead when it comes to the one-day game, but as far as Test cricket is concerned, Kaif is still a very good bat,” Kumble said.

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