He is considered to be one of the greatest spinners in the world cricket has ever seen. With 266 wickets in 67 test matches, Bishan Singh Bedi, the legendary left-arm spinner from India, is also known for being outspoken. In a recent chat with the CrickerSoccer.com, Bedi shared his feelings of watching the India-Afghanistan test match, which was also the first ever test match played by the Afghans.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer (CS): You must have watched the India-Afghanistan test match. How is your feeling to see a new country like Afghanistan emerging as a test playing nation?
Bishan Singh Bedi (BSB): It’s good for cricket. If you could spread the game worldwide, it can only enhance the popularity of the game. But I am not sure about the idea of International Cricket Council (ICC) to arrange the first ever test match of Afghanistan with a heavyweight team like India. Rather, I suppose it would have been more practical if Afghanistan play their first ever test match with Ireland or Zimbabwe.
CS: So you think that a two-tier test championship would work better?
BSB: Yes, hundred per cent. How can a newcomer team like Afghanistan can match the potential and power of India or Australia? You can not expect it. And the outcome of the India-Afghanistan test match would only support my views. It was a no match.
CS: What could be the positives that Afghanistan could take from this match?
BSB: It was a reality check for them. A harsh reality. The match must have made them realize the gap between them and the front liner in test format. The result is quite frustrating. But Afghan cricketers should take it positively. They must realize the difference between T20 and Test cricket. It’s not about going gaga from the very first ball. Rather, test cricket demands patience, temperament, composure. And most significantly, you have to be on top of your game for five days to win a test match. Hope Afghanistan will mark this match as a big learning experience.
CS: There was much hype about Rashid Khan these days. But he failed to leave any mark against India. Shikhar Dhawan and the other Indian batsmen were brutal against him. Your take.
BSB: Look, it may sound a little harsh. But I will appreciate Rashid only if he gets success in test cricket. He must realize now that test cricket is not about bowling 4 good overs. It’s about bowling consistently throughout the day. In T20s, you can escape by bowling just four overs. But in Test, you are bound to be exposed. In T20s, batsmen get out trying to add some quick runs on the board. But in Test, batsman will examine your patience. Rashid is undoubtedly a good spinner. But he has to prove himself in the test arena.
CS: India is about to play England in the English condition. Can Virat and boys make a difference this time?
BSB: I hope so. Indian batsmen can never play swinging ball with ease. And that’s going to be the biggest difficulty this time too. The only significant part is that the team will play limited overs matches ahead of test series and that would give them an opportunity to get accustomed to the condition. It should act as a blessing for team India.
CS: In the Indian subcontinent, spinners dominate the show in test cricket. With quality spinners in their armour, can India make the life of England batsmen difficult in English condition too? What would be your tips to the Indian spinners to get success down under?
BSB: Look, the spinners cannot be as effective there as they use to be here in the subcontinent. It’s reality. But yes, they can make the life of a batsman difficult provided the fact that they stick to the basics. In English condition, where there is not much turn on offer, the mantra for a spinner should be to bowl in proper areas. You have to be perfect with your line and length. Only then you can choke the batsman and take the wicket for your team.