New Delhi: Former India World Cup winning skipper Kapil Dev on Monday batted for more aggressive approach to Test cricket, calling it a challenge for both the batsmen and bowlers.
Kapil observed that the mindset of modern-day players has changed, which has resulted in more result-oriented Test matches.
“Action is required in Test cricket. When you go to America and other parts of Europe, people make fun of you and ask, ‘You play five days Test cricket without a result?’.”
“I feel you need action today as the mindset has changed. We are not saying that there is no skill to play 90 overs. Playing 90 overs for a batsman today is a skill.”
“If I am a bowler, I will love to play against a batsman who poses a challenge for me. If he plays five over maidens and don’t get runs I am not going to get wickets because he is saving his wicket. But today it’s a challenge for both the parties because the mindset have changed,” Kapil, who led India to their maiden World Cup win in 1983 told reporters here.
The 57-year-old also voiced his support for preparing pitches offering assistance to home teams, saying there is nothing wrong in taking that advantage.
“If you are playing at home they why not? Offcourse you should take advantage of home conditions. If you go to Australia or South Africa, they are not going to give you a turning track,” he said.
“My support is where you can win the Test matches not absolutely rubbish pitches but good pitches where your strength will come out. No country will give you the pitch which you want.”
Considered as one of India’s best all-rounders, Kapil, who got 5248 runs and 434 wickets in his 131 Tests, said it depends on the captain whether he wants to play three spinners or two in sub-continent conditions, as everything depended on how the track behaves.
“If captain wants three spinners in his team then I am happy. I would like to see what captain’s mindset is and if he feels that the third spinner can give him enough to get the wickets then why not?”
Asked on the possible combination for the first Test against New Zealand starting on September 22 in Kanpur, Kapil said it all depended on the nature of the wicket.
“It all depends on the pitch. Its very easy to say I will go with four bowlers or five but I as a captain would like to see the kind of pitch before picking the team. Its easy to talk if the pitch is good enough you go with five bowler strategy.
“If wicket-keeper (Wriddhiman) Saha starts getting hundred and off-spinner (Ravichandran) Ashwin is there to bat at No.7 apart from the four bowlers that should be the line-up. But again when you don’t know what kind of a wicket (seaming or spinning), so at the end of the day , all depends on what kind of pitches you get. So it is very unfair for me to say at this stage,” he added.
Former Australian pacer Brett Lee, who was seated along side Kapil, backed the Indian legend’s take on taking advantage of home conditions.
“I agree 100 percent because the greatest thing about touring is you are playing on different wickets. What we have done to Test cricket is to have the same wicket throughout every single nation. The disappointing thing from my end is the Australian wickets have become too benign,” he said.
“Now the (Western Australia Cricket Association) WACA in Perth is not like it used to be. When Indians went to play at the WACA, the Kookabura used to sniff in through the ears. But now the WACA is not that conducive to fast bowling. So when you come to India, it should spin because that’s what India is known for and the ball should remain low and slow.
“If you are a good enough batsman then you should play the sweep shot then that’s your test to see if you can perform in these conditions.”
“I do agree with Kapil Dev that you don’t need an absolute ragging turner but it should spit right from the first ball and the batters must be good enough to get through it and score big hundreds. That’s a true test of a player,” he added.
Former India great V.V.S. Laxman was also present during a panel discussion on the upcoming ‘Home Season of cricket’, which begins with the New Zealanders touring the country for three Tests.