New-ball bowlers are also taking wickets and the spinners will always get you wickets.
Chennai: It’s not often that Sunil Gavaskar’s words of wisdom fall on a stony ground. But what he strongly advocated nearly two decades ago elicited a muted response from the powers-that-be. Notwithstanding the passage of time, the winds of change kept blowing gustily with more analysts jumping onto the ‘change’ bandwagon.
And for Test cricket to relive its ‘sunny’ days, the ‘Little Master’ in this interview to this newspaper has put on his expert hat on how to make the Test format more appealing to the layman.
You have any suggestions to make Tests more appealing to the general public like doing away with the toss?
Doing away with the toss was something I suggested 20 years ago. But I’m not an Australian or an Englishman, so I won’t get the credit for it.I have also asked the leg-byes to be scrapped because when a bowler has bowled a good ball and the batsman couldn’t get his bat to it, why should the fielding team be penalised. Those are things that maybe an Australian or an Englishman should suggest for them to be taken on board.
How eager are you to see a day-night Test in India?
I’m quite eager but I think the main problem will be the dew. The conditions should remain the same and when I talk about the conditions it’s the ground conditions as the weather will keep changing everywhere. They will have to find a ground where dew will not be a factor.
Who do you think can pose a threat to India’s dominance in Tests? Australia are due to tour in two months’ time. Can they do better than the last time?
You can never be sure in cricket. Australia have improved after their defeats to South Africa and if they do well against Pakistan, they will come here with a lot of confidence. And, no Australian team can ever be underrated.
Kohli has expressed his desire to play county cricket in England. You have also played for one season. How does it help one’s game?
It’s a good move. You get used to the conditions like how Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have been sending their ‘A’ teams to India in August so that they will get familiar with the pitches and the weather. So it’s a matter of getting used to the conditions.
How has the Indian team progressed under Kohli’s captaincy? How do you look at the current side?
This team has the right kind of balance in bowling.
New-ball bowlers are also taking wickets and the spinners will always get you wickets.It’s important to have the right combination as that will help you take 20 wickets to win a match.
Seeing how successful Anil Kumble has been as a coach so far, will that obviate the need to hire a foreigner?
This is Kumble’s first year and he has done a wonderful job. When you have someone like Anil who has close to 1,000 international wickets and given the way he approached his game, I think that would have rubbed off on players as well.