Former cricketers divided over Dravid~~s declaration

Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Former cricketers were divided in their opinion on Tuesday on the controversial decision of stand-in captain Rahul Dravid in declaring India's first innings in the Multan Test with Sachin Tendulkar just six short of his double-century.

Legendary spinner Erapalli Prasanna said Dravid should have waited for another two overs to give Tendulkar a chance to complete back-to-back double-centuries. The little master had scored an unbeaten 241 in the Sydney Test against Australia early this year.

"I don't think that the declaration was justified. Two more overs would not have made much of a difference to either our bowlers or to an eventual Indian victory," Prasanna said in Kolkata.

The former cricketer also said Tendulkar was justified in expressing his disappointment.

"I understand that Sachin was very disappointed. I sympathise with him because to start afresh and go on to score 195 runs is in itself a huge task. His reaction was justified."

However, former captain Ajit Wadekar said Dravid took the right decision when he declared the innings at 675 for five.

"We cannot say from here what was in the mind of the team management. The Indian score was very good and had they continued batting it would have been a waste of time," Wadekar said in Mumbai.

"Also, the Indians could have pressed for some wickets," Wadekar said adding a batsman of the calibre of Tendulkar could score a double-hundred any time.

"It has happened with Dravid too in the past. The decision was taken in the benefit of the team. Nobody should be disappointed with the decision," he said.

Mohinder Amarnath, writing in 'The Telegraph', said, "the declaration was a good one from the captain. It must have been a difficult decision when Sachin was batting on 194, but it also shows that team interest gets precedence over any individuals."

However, former captain Kapil Dev declined to comment saying he will let know his opinion in his syndicated column.

Meanwhile Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq said in Multan that he would have allowed his player to score the double-century in similar circumstances.

"If any of my player was in such a situation, I would have allowed him to get the double-century," Inzamam said.

The Pakistan skipper declined to comment further saying it was a decision taken by the Indian team management.

"Such decisions are taken by the team management. I cannot comment on it," he said when pressed further to comment on it.

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