India is new power centre of Cricket: Wadekar

Published: Thursday, October 30, 2008, 17:57 [IST]
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WadekarNew Delhi: Former India captain Ajit Wadekar feels that Australia"s dominance of world cricket is on the decline and India has become the new power centre. Wadekar, a Match Referee with the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL), took everyone in the media box at the Feroz Shah Kotla by surprise by his presence Thursday, the second day of the third Test match between India and Australia.

He, however, quickly laid all speculation at rest by saying that he was a special invitee of Delhi and District Criocket Association (DDCA) president Arun Jaitley in his capacity as president of the All India Cricket Association for the Disabled.

The former skipper said the present Australian team is going through a cyclical slump and it has to happen in cricket world.

“This happens in international cricket. It happened with West Indies also. If you look back, you will find that when Allan Border took over as the Australian captain he also faced a similar situation as Ricky Ponting ," said Wadekar

He said the current Australian team is not balanced like their other teams in the past and the retirement of legendry bowlers Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, has left a huge vacuum.

Wadekar went on to say that the stock of India cricket is on the rise.

“This series has shown that the power is shifting to India. This is the best Indian team I have ever seen. They have a tremendous batting line-up and the spinners are also doing fine. Everyone in the team has peaked at the right time," he added.

Wadekar though cautioned that India, too, could be facing a similar situation in the next couple of years and so it cannot afford to be complacent.

“What is happening to Australia now can very well happen to India in the coming days. The team is shaping up at a time when five senior players, who have been crucial in the team"s success over the last decade, are on the verge of retirement. Sourav Ganguly has already announced his retirement while others have a maximum of two years left," Wadekar said adding that the board should start rebuilding the Test side from now on.

He also spared a thought for the different Twenty20 leagues cropping up in both the hemispheres. “I think the ICC (International Cricket Council) must be under pressure to regularise all these leagues. It is time ICC found a window for the various leagues and at the same time putting high value to Test cricket," he said.


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