Thatscricket - News - Dravid best among Indian~~s to play county cricket

Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2001, 0:15 [IST]
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Kolkata: Indian middle order batsman Rahul Dravid is the "best suited" among Indian players to play county cricket in Britain, says formerSomerset cricket county captain, cricket commentator and writer PeterRoebuck."He is hard working and his game comes from thought and analysis. However, his mannerisms are more subdued," Roebuck, 45, told IANS, while commenting about Dravid's cricketing skills and his county cricket stint with Kent last season.Roebuck, who is here to cover the India-Australia cricket series on behalf of Australian daily Sydney Morning Herald, also waxed eloquent about the contributions made to county cricket by Indian batting great Sunil Gavaskar and left-arm spinner Bishan Singh Bedi in the 1970s and 1980s.Playing for Somerset and Northamptonshire respectively, Roebuck saidGavaskar and Bedi, both former Indian captains, left a great impact oncounty cricket. "While Gavaskar was a craftsman, Bedi was a magician," he remarked.He said watching Gavaskar bat from the non-striker's end was a lesson initself. "It was an education watching him play a stroke so late. It was a fascinating insight into batting. He was a great player. Remember Vivian Richards (West Indian batsman) had played for the county a year before and after him," he said.Gavaskar left a good influence on the county team. "He never imposed himself on the team or an individual. He quietly slipped into the team and had no ego. He was, however, mischievous in some ways, and had several parts to his character. He showed us his Hindu face too," Roebuck said.Talking about Gavaskar's contribution to Somerset's cricket, Roebuck said,"He played two or three of the best innings that I have seen by Somerset batsmen and that includes Richards, New Zealand's Martin Crowe and Australian Mark Waugh, who all have played for the county. For Gavaskar, an innings was not a job, not a task. He did not enjoy the day-to-day routine of procedure. He was a man for the occasion.""It took us by surprise," he said of the short time that he took to score. "They were great innings. One came against a strong Middlesex attack in a 55-over game and the other was against Kent, which had West Indian fast bowler Sylvester Clarke in its attack," he added.Describing Gavaskar as a person, Roebuck said that he was a "willful man" and was "stubborn" at times. "He was a mixture of fatalism and willfulness, which the Western world finds puzzling," he remarked."He showed us his Hindu face also, his deities, and his Indian fear for dogs. He was mischievous in some ways, and had an impish humor. In fact, he had several parts to his character."Commenting on Bedi, Roebuck said, "When he bowled, the ball seemed to have a string attached to it. If you went to play the ball in one direction, it seemed to go the other way. He fooled you with the length (of the delivery). So I decided to stay back rather than charge and retreat. Though I scored some runs against him. He was simply a magician."India Abroad News Service

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