Mongia should not have been made to come and go without playing, says Ian Healy, one of the most successful wicket-keepers Australia has seen, in an interview with Debashish Datta.
Don't you think you retired early ?
No, I wanted to quit the game when I was at my peak. Now I am enjoying it when everyone tells me that I could have played a bit longer. This is really a kind of satisfaction.
Your opinion on Adam Gilchrist ?
I must say Adam is doing a great job. I am sure nobody is missing me behind the wickets. But my only worry is how long will he be able to take the pressure of playing both Test and one-day matches. It is a tough job. More so when he goes to open the innings after standing for 50 overs behind the stumps.
Has he asked for any tips ?
Where is the time. Everyday the team has been travelling. It takes a hell of a lot from anybody. We do not meet very often. I am also busy. But I am sure he will definitely contact me whenever he has a problem. Adam is a very enthusiastic cricketer. I hope he plays for Australia for a long time.
How tough is it for any wicketkeeper to play regularly in both versions of the game ?
Very, very tough. I think Adam has taken the maximum workload this summer among all the Australian cricketers. Any wicketkeeper would normally have a separate schedule for himself to keep himself fit. Food is a very important part in this regard. You must be careful to preserve energy. A bowler, a fielder, a batsman can relax in course of the match, but a gloveman has to follow all the deliveries of an innings. A wicketkeeper can only relax when he comes to the dressing room. He has to be on his toes. He has to motivate the whole team from behind the stumps. It's a specialist job. Anyone who intends to play for a long time has to sacrifice a lot.
Are you enjoying the new assignment ?
Oh yes. Being a commentator is a challenging job. It's a totally new experience. I am enjoying it thoroughly. I am also planning to write a book. I have had a talk with my co-author during this one-day series.
What about the Indian team ?
I really would not blame them. It was difficult for any team to adjust to our conditions, especially a team which has come after a gap of eight long years. At the same time, I must say that I expected a better performance in the one-day series because they got some time to adjust with the conditions.
What about the Indian wicketkeeper ?
I find no reason why Nayan Mongia came here and went back without playing a Test. I do not know the politics. But I feel he should have played.
What about M S K Prasad ?
Did you meet Mongia ?
Yes, very briefly. I saw him going down the road. I was in a hurry, yet I called him immediately for a mug of beer. I feel sorry for him. I told him I am always available for any wicketkeeper if they need my advice.
The critics feel you have been selected in last century's Australia team because you kept against Shane Warne.?
Yeah, I have been told that. It was really a pleasant surprise. Almost a 'dream come true' situation. Talking about Shane Warne, I must say we had a special understanding. We practised together for hours. The understanding between us developed over the years. We used to talk a lot before every match. I tried my best to keep against Shane. But I am happy to know that I got named in a team captained by the great Sir Donald Bradman.
Professional Management Group