Gundappa Viswanath on India vs Bangladesh: Cope... don't complain

Updated: Nov 24, 2019, 07:44 IST | Debasish Datta | Kolkata

Ex-India captain Gundappa Viswanath urges cricketers not to have any preconceived notions about the pink ball in D/N Test and how difficult it is to handle its movement.

Gundappa Viswanath (in blue) waves to the Eden Gardens crowd with fellow ex-India captains Dilip Vengsarkar to his right and Mohammed Azharuddin in front at the Eden Gardens on Friday. Pic/ PTI
Gundappa Viswanath (in blue) waves to the Eden Gardens crowd with fellow ex-India captains Dilip Vengsarkar to his right and Mohammed Azharuddin in front at the Eden Gardens on Friday. Pic/ PTI

Kolkata: Gundappa Viswanath was delighted to be back at the Eden Gardens, where he led India for the first time—in the sixth and final Test against Pakistan— during the 1979-80 season.

Viswanath, 70, told mid-day that he was amused to read several views on the pink ball and how it would make batting more difficult.

"Look, at the end of the day, it is a ball. You had a different ball when one-day cricket progressed as well and players coped with the white ball. It's all about adjusting and if you cannot cope with that adjustment, it means you are not a good international cricketer," said Viswanath as the Bangladeshi batsmen failed for yet another time in the Test match.

What's the fuss about?

"One of the views was that the raised seam would cause pain for the fielders. I'd say, 'So what? We play with a hard ball so what's the fuss about?

If it hurts then don't play this game," said Viswanath, who is watching his first pink ball game. The batting stylist first played with the white ball in the 1980-81 triangular series in Australia, which also featured New Zealand, his best effort being a top score of 43 in a game against Australia in Sydney where the tourists lost by nine wickets.

"I think the only concern should have been about sighting the pink ball," remarked Viswanath on a day when Sourav Ganguly said that the pink ball was easier to sight than the red one. The approach of the Bangladeshi batsmen has disappointed Viswanath.

'Get on the front foot'

"The pink ball affords batsmen an opportunity to spend time at the crease because the ball doesn't reverse swing. From what I noticed, they were playing from inside the crease when they should have been on the front foot. They appeared terrified while facing the Indian bowlers. Liton Das stood out in the first innings with his 24, but unfortunately he got injured," said Viswanath.

Some among the Kolkata crowd would remember his sterling hundred in the 1974-75 Test against the West Indies. It was an innings that caused India's revival in that famous series in which the West Indies won the first two Tests at Bangalore and New Delhi. India won in Calcutta and followed that up with a triumph in the fourth Test at Madras before they lost the series-decider in Bombay.

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