Kolkata: Whenever we think of Sachin Tendulkar, the very image of a soft-spoken, peaceful, gentle and a honey-tongued individual comes to mind.
However at the recently concluded Hindustan Times Leadership Summit we witnessed an all-new avatar of the man we once knew to be reserved, when he opened up on Test cricket and the issues concerning it.
The maestro was all for the idea that two different pitches and two different balls could even out things between competing sides in test match cricket. He said, “I have thought a lot about neutral venues in Ranji Trophy. I have a suggestion which can be radical.”
His, “radical” suggestion was, “Let us have the first innings on a green top with kookaburra balls which would give openers a challenge. Even bowlers will have something. Our spinners will also learn how to bowl with kookaburra on Green tops.”
However, his next suggestion was something quite intriguing as went on to say, “Now let there be a pitch adjacent to the green top which would be a rank turner. Now the second innings will be played on that track with the SG Test ball which would also help our batsmen play against quality spin bowling.”
Very rightly so, he said these keeping in mind that such a method, if applied could help players prepare better for overseas tours. He also felt that subcontinent batsmen are too preoccupied with playing pace bowling and under such a method batsmen would actually be able to increase their potentialities of playing spin.
He also had something to say about the home advantage in test cricket which actually kills the competition between the competing sides as in most of the cases, the home teams dominate the entire scheme of things leaving the hosts down and out.
And he continued, “My suggestion is to have back to back matches against same the side home and away. Let us play two Tests in India and then two Tests in England. Same set of players but different venues. Obviously there will be some changes in terms of form and injuries but core will be same. That will be a fair contest.”Such a method, if applied, again could cut off all factors like the toss and home advantage which more or less have a say in the matches producing a result.
On the Lodha Commission vs BCCI war, Tendulkar lent his full support for the BCCI as he went on to say that the parent body of cricket in India has,”done a lot for the game in country.” He further added, “My personal feeling is that when I was growing up, I got a lot of support from the BCCI. The BCCI and the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) arranged a lot of camps.” However, he refused to comment on the Lodha Committee as he felt that it was “unwise” to do so as the Supreme Court verdict on the same is still pending.
Yes, it is Sachin who has never been seen in such a frank avatar even during his playing days. But post-retirement, it seems he has decided to speak his mind. His words are going to have severe repercussions in the cricketing circle. How the ICC and BCCI react to his suggestions would be worth anticipating.