Golden great Graeme Pollock reckons conditions foreign to even South Africa

Updated: Jan 26, 2018, 15:59 IST | Anand Vasu

Don Bradman, the greatest batsman of all time, believed that this man was the best left-hand batsman he had seen

Graeme Pollock
Graeme Pollock

Don Bradman, the greatest batsman of all time, believed that this man was the best left-hand batsman he had seen. Graeme Pollock, whose career lasted only 23 Tests because of South Africa's isolation, proved his class with 2256 runs at an average of 64, hitting seven centuries, including a career-best 274. Now 73, Pollock has seen plenty of cricket and he likes what Virat Kohli brings to the table, although he urges fans to curb their enthusiasm a touch when comparing him to some of the players who came before. "I think he is a wonderful player," said Pollock of Kohli.

"The Indian batting line-up of the past, the Sachins, the Dravids, the Laxmans and the Sehwags… that's a totally different line-up. This line-up is nowhere close to that. The only current batsman probably in that league is Kohli at the moment. I saw these guys playing in India on low and slow wickets and they are good players but to adapt to different conditions isn't easy."

Pollock was also surprised by the conditions on offer in this series. "And the conditions in the last couple of Tests have been foreign even to South Africa. Cape Town normally doesn't seam as much and gives the quickies as much help," he said. "Centurion was slow and had inconsistent bounce and if the Wanderers has grass and the weather is overcast, you are going to have a problem."

Pollock pointed out that the major challenge for young Indian batsmen coming through was adapting to alien conditions. "The guys that are new into the game have been playing essentially on slow, low wickets, and to come and bat in these conditions, it's a huge difference. My only concern is that I don't think the batsmen have played to their natural and normal abilities," said Pollock. "The guy (Pujara) faced 53 balls for no run… I think they are playing not to get out as against normal play, to bat at a faster rate. I think their mentality is not to get out rather than being positive."

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