Dilip Vengsarkar questions Tendulkar's 'impractical' two-pitch idea, MS Dhoni's match fitness

Updated: Dec 09, 2016, 10:57 IST | Ayan Roy

Former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar feels Sachin Tendulkar's idea of playing Ranji ties on 2 pitches & with 2 balls is impractical, wonders how MS Dhoni stays match-fit without any competitive cricket

Dilip Vengsarkar
Dilip Vengsarkar

Former India skipper and current MCA vice-president Dilip Vengsarkar is known for being a straight-talker and brutally honest.

The 60-year-old cricket legend is a busy man, what with the fourth Test of the India vs England series being played at the Wankhede Stadium from Thursday, December 8th. But ‘DBV’ took time out for a brief conversation with mid-day.com.

Iconic cricketer Sachin Tendulkar on Saturday had a radical suggestion to improve the standard of cricket in India and better prepare the players for overseas tours -- introduce two different balls and two pitches in the same match in domestic cricket.

The 43-year-old, who retired from Tests in 2013, had said, “I have thought a lot about neutral venues in Ranji Trophy (which is being experimented this season). I have a suggestion which can be radical. When we go to places like Australia, New Zealand, West Indies and South Africa, we play with kookaburra balls which swings early. Think about a young Ranji batsman playing with SG Test in India and then facing difficulty overseas.

“Let us have the first innings on a green top with Kookaburra balls which would give openers a challenge. Even bowlers will have something. Our spinners will also learn how to bowl with kookaburra on green tops," Tendulkar opined.

He had then gone on to suggest something even more drastic – “Now let there be a pitch adjacent to the green top which would be a rank turner. Now, the second innings will be played on that track with the SG Test ball which would also help our batsmen play against quality spin bowling. We have been too focused on playing pace in overseas conditions but we should not forget how to play spin bowling… Don't forget even overseas teams are losing to us in India. May be they would start using SG in their domestic matches.”

Well, former chairman of selectors Vengsarkar isn’t in agreement with Sachin on this. Terming the idea impractical, the National Cricket Academy (NCA) director said, “How will this happen? If you play the first innings for two-three days on a green top and then shift, how can you predict if the ball will turn on the other pitch? And how will this help the bowlers? No, it’s not practical.”

Tendulkar believes that the two-pitch, two-ball move will push curators preparing designer pitches and the toss out of picture. But Vengsarkar doesn’t believe in this idea. He feels that every team should and has to play to their advantage and believes that home advantage is what makes the game interesting.

India’s ODI captain MS Dhoni has been in the news lately since he’s set to play his first international match in two and half months with apparently no official game time in sight.

India's first ODI against England is scheduled on January 15 in Pune. It is expected to be Dhoni's first international match in two and half months after having last played against New Zealand at Visakhapatnam on October 29.

While some of the other ODI specialists are playing Ranji Trophy for their states, Dhoni is yet to avail that option.

Vengsarkar finds this strange and ironical. “Dhoni has retired from Test cricket. He also doesn’t play Ranji games. So how does he keep himself match-fit,” Vengsarkar wondered.

“One needs to play regularly to stay match-fit. It’s ironical that Dhoni isn’t doing this,” he said.

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