Dhoni should not have bowled at Lord's : Kapil

Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma let keeper Dhoni down by allowing him to bowl, says Kapil

Coming down hard on young seamers in the country, Kapil Dev has questioned their attitude, which the pace legend reckoned caused India an embarrassing whitewash in the recently-concluded Test series in England.

Candid: Kapil Dev delivers the third Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture at
CCI yesterday. Pics/Bipin Kokate

Kapil felt that Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma let their captain down by allowing him to take off his gloves and bowl on the second day of July's Lord's Test. "What happened at Lord's was the worst scene in my life, with the captain removing his gloves and bowling on the second day of the Test match.

Dilip Sardesai's wife Nandini (left), Cyrus Broacha, Vinod Kambli and
Kunal Vijaykar observe a few minutes silence along with the gathering

"For Dhoni to ask his young boys, 'are you tired' is the attitude that is worrying. If I was there, I would have bowled 25 overs from my end and not allowed my captain to do that. How can you let your captain bowl on the second day the tour? That sent a negative message to the opposition," Kapil said while delivering the annual Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture at the Cricket Club of India yesterday.

The 1983 World Cup-winning captain felt fast bowlers had to toughen up. "First of all, the cricket board must understand how much load the fast bowlers can take. Their bodies are not ready to play 365 days of cricket.

How can you let them play so much? The other negative point these days is that fast bowlers want to bowl fast in the gym. 

They must spend maximum time running around the ground to build stronger legs, and a strong stomach. That's how you can survive at this level. If you are happy bowling just four overs, that's where the Board, and also the player, must understand the problem in attitude," added Kapil.

The Dilip Sardesai Memorial lecture
Thank you, Sardesai 
"I AM just a part and parcel of Indian cricket. Whatever pinnacle Indian cricket has reached today is thanks to players like Dilip Sardesai and Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi who played in that era, facing genuine fast bowlers with no money," Kapil said to start his lecture. Sardesai, a prolific former India batsman, passed away in 2007.
The annual lecture was initiated by his family. Sunil Gavaskar delivered the first one in 2009 followed by Bishan Singh Bedi last year.

Craving for records
When asked by expert and moderator Ayaz Memon if he was perturbed by Indian cricket's obsession with individual milestones and records (like he was during his playing days), Kapil said: "Yes, that problem still exists. Let's take an example of Sachin Tendulkar. "Everyone knows that he has made 99 centuries. We are more keenly awaiting his next hundred rather than winning a series.

"How many people know the number of times Sachin scored a century, and we won? Not even one per cent of people know that. What is (of) more pride to you? Is it the country, or the performance of an individual? "The media should talk about this... if we won 60 Tests or one-dayers from the 99 times Sachin has hit a hundred. With that same parallel, I can take pride about that individual cricketer. But we (as a nation) don't want to know how many times Rahul (Dravid) scored a hundred and India won.

How many of us are aware of the number of Tests Sunny (Gavaskar) saved? But we all know that he got 34 centuries. We have to change this mindset. We have not reached that level yet. We are still marketing individuals. Hopefully, one day we will realise that the country is more important," said Kapil.

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