According to most of the Cricket pundits, this Indian batsman first showed the world how to utilize the field restrictions in first 15 overs in a one-day international match to get a quick start, even before Sanath Jayasuriya and Ramesh Kaluwitharna. Krishnamachari Srikkanth, though, is not a happy man to see the probability of gathering 500 runs in an innings in ODIs. The former opener, in a recent chat with CricketSoccer.com, told how the balance between bat and ball is endangered in modern day cricket.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer (CS): As India is about to start playing one of the most awaited series in the recent past, against England in England, how are you seeing their chances?
Krishnamachari Srikkanth (KS): To be very honest, India will face a very difficult challenge there. England is a very good side. More significantly, they will be playing in a home condition which could always give you the upper hand as the host. And India have struggled in English condition where the Ball swings a lot. If you see the recent performance of the national team outside the subcontinent, you will find out that we have done well in Australia, in South Africa, in West Indies. But if you look at the results in England, we couldn’t play to our potential. A very difficult situation is awaiting this time too. But Virat Kohli and the boys have the skill and courage to overcome the challenges. Let’s hope for the best.
CS: How would you assess the current England team?
KS: They are a very balanced side. They have experience and youth mixed up in both batting and bowling. In test format, which is going to be the biggest challenge for the Indian team, they have batsmen like Alastair Cook and Joe Root. In the fast bowling department, they have the experience of James Anderson and Stuart Broad. And I have to mention that Virat and the boys will have to face a resurrected Anderson as he is making a comeback after a break. He will be fresh, raring to go and his excellent record against India will only make Anderson a more confident bowler. So India has a very tough test ahead of them.
CS: The way England had piled up 481 against Australia in a record-breaking One Day International match, would you say that the Indian bowlers might have a tough time in the limited overs matches there?
KS: Ummm… they might or might not. See, India have a very potent bowling line-up with lots of variety. They will not let English batsmen play freely. I would like to add one thing in this regard. This type of run fest is making the ODIS a one-sided affair where only the batsmen have the last say. It’s not great for the balance of the game. I am quite worried what would happen to a bowlers mentality if someday a team heaped 500 runs in the scoreboard in ODIs and I guess that day is not far away.
CS: But you yourself used to be destructive as a batsman in the initial overs in ODIs. The probability of piling 500 runs in an innings could be a happy picture for you…
KS: Not at all. Yes, I played my shots in the initial overs and gave my team a quick-fire start, but at that time, the only time to score freely in an ODI used to be the first 15 overs and 7-8 overs at the death. In the middle overs, bowlers did well. The average score per innings was 230-250. That was a perfect and balanced platform for a duel between bat and ball. But nowadays, it’s completely different. Use of two new balls from two different ends makes shot playing easier than earlier. I fear, whether the charm of ODIs would be the same or not if 500 runs per innings happens to be a regular affair.
CS: In recent times, wrist spinners have become a decisive factor in limited overs games. Your take.
KS: I don’t think that wrist spinners have been a decisive factor in recent times. They always have a very significant role to play in the game. But yes, teams with quality wrist spinners have been performing pretty well. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been two great revelations for team India in this aspect. India’s success in limited overs cricket in the last two years have been greatly influenced by these two. The thing is, batsman likes to play shots against them and enhances the chance to get them out. As a bowler, you must be a happy one if you realize that batsman is going to play attacking shots against you