Batsmen have to score at a fast clip in Tests

Published: Monday, October 8, 2001, 23:20 [IST]
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Johannesburg: A legend of his time, Graeme Pollock - uncle of current South Africa captain Shaun Pollock - is now a national selector. Pollock, in fact, had his grand run in the international game cut short by an international ban due to apartheid.

Pollock felt if Test cricket was to survive, batsmen and teams needed to always look to score runs at a good clip. "You look at the current Aussie side. They are always scoring 300-plus in a day and that's what you got to do. It gives your bowlers time get the opposition out," he said. Pollock had a chat with John Wright the other day as the Indian coach caught up with the South African batting legend and sought his views, among other things, on batting. "I had a long chat with John (Wright). We just generally talked about batting. I said the same thing to him. If he passes this on to your batsmen, that's good. I just like to see good cricket. If I can make a contribution to it, I am ready to do so." Pollock also spoke to captain Saurav Ganguly and said he really thought India was a formidable batting line-up. "I was just speaking to your captain and saying it is nice that guys like (V V S) Laxman are coming for the Test side. Your top six, when everybody is fit, is very formidable. It's a very good top six batting. Also, a lot of your batsmen play positively. That's nice to see." Pollock also felt India were well-served by the presence of spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh on this tour. "These two spinners are as good as any. Kumble is a little different from the leg spinner of the 60s and 70s in the sense that men like Richie Benaud were greater turners of the ball. They didn't bowl all that quickly. "Kumble bowls quicker than most leggies, he doesn't give much away, he keeps it tight and obviously is helped by the bounce he gets. "He is a tall guy and bowls over the top and has been incredibly effective. He, along with (seamer) Javagal Srinath, has played a major part in Indian cricket for the last 10 years." Pollock, however, cautioned the Indian spinners they would not get any turning wickets on this tour. "It is unlikely they would get any turning tracks on this tour - they would probably not because it would not suit South African cricketers." Pollock's advice to Indian spinners is not to try too many things on these wickets. "I have always maintained that if you are bowling maiden overs and if you tie people down, no batsman likes to be tied down for long periods of time. If you don't try to do too many things and concentrate on your line and length, you are doing fine." Pollock said for long Indian batsmen have been criticised for not playing well on bouncy tracks outside the Indian sub-continent. "These people have suggested they should try and leave a bit of grass in India but then there is a different set of people who say we play 80 per cent of our cricket at home and why shouldn't we pick up the wickets we want? "That's a very fair argument. You play according to your own conditions," said Pollock, admitting though it is a little different for Indian batsmen when they play away from home. Looking back at his career, Pollock said the two best batsmen he had seen during his career were fellow South African Barry Richards and West Indian Sir Garfield Sobers. "Gary's 254 in Melbourne for Rest of the World against Australia in 1971 was the best innings I have seen," Pollock added. "Dennis Lillee had just started and was charging in - I haven't seen anyone better than that." Extras:
Another legend becomes Sachin fan
India's South African Safari

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