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Dravid must keep in ODIs: Engineer

October 15, 2003 19:42 IST
Last Updated: October 15, 2003 21:30 IST

Former India Test stumper Farokh Engineer has joined the debate on who should keep wickets for India in Limited Overs Internationals.

Engineer believes vice-captain Rahul Dravid should continue with his dual role for some more time.

Engineer, who will be master of ceremonies at the Cricket Club of India's felicitation on Sunday for Indian cricketers who have done well at Lord's, said Dravid did a good job with the gloves at the World Cup in southern Africa in March and should continue to keep till India finds a wicket-keeper who can contribute with the bat as well.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Parthiv Patel, the No 1 wicket-keeper in Tests, is a fine prospect and looks very competent behind the stumps," Engineer told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday. "But to accommodate an additional batsman or bowler in one-dayers, Dravid has to continue keeping wickets.

"Parthiv will be very successful in the years to come and has a very flexible body, with fine movements in a five-day game, though he is still to adjust to one-day cricket.

"In a limited overs match, a wicket-keeper has to bat like a top-order batter, stroking the ball hard, and not slice the ball like Parthiv does."

Going down memory lane, the former Mumbai ace, now settled in London, lauded former leg-spinner Bhagwat Chandrashekhar for his determination to succeed. "He turned a disability [polio-affected bowling arm] to advantage and it was a fantastic experience to keep wickets to him, E A S Prasanna, and Bishen Singh Bedi," the veteran said.

Engineer said his childhood idol was none other than former India skipper Polly Umrigar, who later became a friend, philosopher and guide.

"As far as wicket-keepers are concerned, Alan Knott of England was the best during our times. Rodney Marsh of Australia, who was a very ordinary stumper earlier in his career, improved tremendously to become a legend later on with sheer hard work and determination."

Narrating another incident involving former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar and England fast bowler John Snow, Engineer said: "I was batting at the other end when Snow, a huge man by any standards, 'bodycharged' into Sunny without any provocation while we were attempting to take a single after Gavaskar had scored a four off the previous delivery.

"The small-built Gavaskar went flying and was shocked at Snow's behaviour, though, luckily, he was not injured seriously. When I saw what happened to Sunny I went up to the big fellow [Snow] and told him, 'why don't you pick someone of your size'.

"Later that evening Snow was asked to apologise to Sunny, but refused, and was dropped for the next Test match."

Meanwhile, CCI president Raj Singh Dungarpur, a former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, announced a list of 19 cricketers, including former captains Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Mohammad Azharuddin, Dilip Vengsarkar [three tons at Lord's] and Kapil Dev, who will be feted on October 19.

The list includes present skipper Sourav Ganguly, medium-pacer Ajit Agarkar, Chandrashekhar, B S Bedi, Chetan Sharma, Venkatesh Prasad, Mohinder Amarnath, and his father the late Lala Amarnath.

"The list also contains K S Duleepsinhji, Vinoo Mankad, Mohammed Nissar, L Amar Singh and Ramakant Desai," Dungarpur said. "One of their family members will attend the function on behalf of cricketers who are no more."

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