No point in blaming pitches, says Kapil Dev

Published: Wednesday, October 15, 2003, 0:06 [IST]
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Coimbatore: There was no point in blaming pitches for losing or a Test ending in a draw, former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev said on Tuesday. "Do not look for any excuses. Indians are playing on the same pitches for the last 40 to 50 years," Kapil Dev said, indirectly referring to Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly blaming the ''placid Motera track'' for the draw in the just concluded first cricket test between New Zealand and India at Ahmedabad. When a reporter pointed out to the conditions of Indian pitches, without proper improvement for the last several years, he said "excuses or no excuses, we have played on the same pitches for the last so many years.

Moreover, the Kiwis also played better cricket." Citing pitches in England, South Africa and Australia, where Test matches were finished within five days, Kapil said something had to be done to finish Tests within five days in India. It was also very sad Indians, who had played a lot of One-day cricket, failed to score more than 350 runs in a day in Test matches, he said, adding India should have maintained an average of more than 3.5 runs per over, instead of below three runs. However, he hastened to add that he had not watched the first Test to make full- fledged comments on it. When reporters sought his reaction on Australian cricket opener, Mathew Hayden Hayden surpassing West Indies' player Brian Lara's record of 375 runs, Kapil said here that he had shown his class as a top player.

To another question on who would be the next or have the capability to beat the record, Kapil said that Test matches were played in different conditions and at different centres. Hayden had been playing very good for the last two years and Rahul Dravid was also in the good nick for the last couple of years and it could be anybody, Kapil said. When asked about the remarks on Sachin Tendulkar made by former Pakistan captain Imran Khan, he said that it could be Imran's own opinion. "And it does not mean Sachin cannot win a match", Kapil said.

"He (Sachin) is a match winner and best batsmen the world has produced, which has been endorsed by the great Don Bradman", Kapil said adding "Vivian Richards was the best batsman, most of the players in our era had seen". To another question on reviving cricket with Pakistan, he said that nobody was against Pakistan. But, whatever be the Indian government decision "we have to stick to that only" Kapil added.

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