How optimistic are you about India’s chances in the upcoming ODI World Cup?
They must first get into the top four (semi-finals). After that, anything is possible. You need a stroke of luck from the semi-final stage onwards and you need things to go right. But the most important thing is to reach the top four.
But injuries have hampered India’s preparations. For someone who has rarely been injured during your career, do you think it is time for the BCCI to review their injury management system?
Injuries are an integral part of every player’s life. But I feel they (Team India) are playing too much cricket. The match committee should seriously consider how much cricket they want to give the team and their players.
Hardik Pandya he is the closest anyone has come to filling your shoes as a fast bowling allrounder. Why do you think India has not been able to produce more fast bowling aircraft?
I don’t think it’s right to compare players. Over the last 20-30 years, we have produced several fast bowlers that we can rely on. And this is more important. And you don’t just need post bowling, you need spin bowling too. And you have some decent ones in the India team. Jadeja is fantastic, Ashwin is doing a great job. So it’s not that we don’t have all-rounders at all.
Nasser Hussain He recently said that India need an all-rounder in Stokes’ mold to succeed in overseas Tests. Do you think someone like Hardik, who hasn’t played a single Test in the last five years, should be playing red-ball cricket more often?
It doesn’t look like he will. I saw his picture on the billboard today. I don’t know if they did any touching or not, but in it, he looked like he had one of the best bodies we have in the country. Yes, he should play more cricket because he has so much ability. If he is fit, he should play Test cricket as well.
Are you a Bazball fan and do you think Rohit & Co should adopt a similar approach?
Baseball is great. The series between England and Australia was one of the best series I have seen in recent times. I think this is how cricket should be played. Rohit is good. But he needs to be more aggressive. You have to think about how teams like England are playing now. And it’s not just us. All cricket playing countries should think along these lines. Winning the game should be the highest priority (not playing for draws) for all teams.
How do you see? Mohammed Sirajrising as a fast bowler?
I think it has great potential. But I also feel like it’s getting carried away with the low-speed deliveries. Yes, it is an important weapon for a fast bowler. When I saw India play the final WTC, Siraj was bowling too many short pitch deliveries while the Australian bowlers were putting it on. Siraj has so many skills. But he needs to analyze and see how many short pitch deliveries fetch him wickets. He has the ability to take wickets but needs to execute his plans better.
Your teammate in the 1983 World Cup winning team and current BCCI president Roger Binney he had said that international players should play domestic cricket. But nothing seems to have changed.
Domestic cricket is the most important. How many domestic matches has Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma or any of the other top players played in recent times? I think the top players should play a decent number of domestic matches so it helps the next generation of players.
Your thoughts on Sanju Samson?
It is not right to talk only about Sanju Samson. We are talking about team India. I think he is a great player and a great talent. But he needs to apply himself more.
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