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Vengsarkar calls for bouncy wickets
November 15, 2006 21:13 IST
The paucity of hard and bouncy pitches is affecting India's cricketing prospects and standing in the way of the country getting good back-up openers, spinners and fast bowlers, chairman of national selection committee Dilip Vengsarkar said in Kolkata on Wednesday.
"It is important to have fast and bouncy wickets to improve the standards," Vengsarkar said during a chat with newspersons.
Vengsarkar said when he was the chief Talent Resource Development Officer, he had sent several reports to the Board of Control for Cricket in India stressing the need for such tracks in domestic tournaments.
He blamed the standard of pitches for the dearth in quality back-up openers and said the virtues of a batsman come to the fore on bouncy wickets.
"The quality of a player can only be assessed on wickets which have bounce," he said.
Vengsarkar said the standard of the game in India, as well as in other countries, is suffering as the top international players do not have the time to play domestic tournaments because of the packed international calendar.
"During our time, we had time for domestic tournaments. But now, the international schedule is so chock-a-block that top players cannot take part in domestic tournaments. This is true not only for India but for players all over the world.
"I think this is an area where the ICC has to step in. The overall standards cannot go up unless the standard of domestic cricket goes up," said the former India captain.
Vengsarkar said while many a young talent in India faded out, Australian batsmen like Michael Clarke felt at home in top flight international cricket as they get to play on a fair amount of bouncy wickets even in school cricket.
To buttress his point, he said that on Indian wickets a batsman runs the danger of getting out if he goes on the backfoot as the ball has a tendency to keep low.
"In contrast, when you are abroad, you have to almost always play on the backfoot."
Vengsarkar said even spinners found it difficult to purchase wickets on flat tracks as the willowers could play a nudge and push game.
"In contrast, I have seen Shane Warne get wickets in Australia with balls that rise, take the edge of the bat and end up as catches at backward point.
"The same is true for pace bowlers in Indian conditions," he said.
On the forthcoming World Cup, he said the long-term perspective is not being compromised by putting the entire focus on the mega event.
"The World Cup is too big a tournament. And the upcoming one-dayers too are important in our preparation for the big event."
Vengsarkar said that India needs to put greater stress on the under-19 and 'A' teams as part of a long-term perspective.
A veteran of 116 Tests, he said he does not believe in prioritising between Tests and one-dayers. "My only priority is to win every game."
However, he adroitly parried queries on finding a settled batting order, need for deploying five bowlers in South Africa and the Indian cricket board's moves to link the payment of cricketers to performance.
Asked when the Indian team management will stick to a set batting order, Vengsarkar replied: "That's a matter to be decided by the team management alone. They are on the spot. And in ODIs, one has to take decisions as per the situation."
He added that sitting in Kolkata he cannot decide whether India should play five specialist bowlers in South Africa.