Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has endorsed the exploitation of "challenging tracks" in Ranji Trophy and other domestic matches, saying that it will test a batsman's ability and also elevate the "standard" of competition.
"Domestic cricket of course, I feel if we could keep more challenging wickets for batters, it would help the standard of playing. We have had a number of opinions on this but I have always felt that (if) you play on good, difficult tracks, your standard of playing automatically goes up," Tendulkar said during a promotional event.
However, the batting maestro clarified that challenging pitches by no means should be under-prepared.
"That is what I would encourage the (custodians of) our domestic cricket to do -- to keep surfaces which are challenging for the batters but that does not mean the bowler should just come and roll their arm over (to get wickets). For bowlers also, to be able to control their seam or spin, it is a skill and (it) should not happen on its own (with aid of surface)," he added.
During the recently held Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, former Australian cricketer turned commentator Kerry O'Keefe had made fun of India's domestic cricket but Tendulkar is not bothered by any outsiders comment.
"I am really not concerned about what XYZ in Australia or in England or in South Africa says. They have got nothing to do with Indian cricket and I don't think we comment on Australian cricket or (for that matter) any other cricket (ing) (nation) in the world. Let us stick to our domain and have opinions related to our country. It is as simple as that," he remarked.
IPL has made the transition from domestic to international cricket easier for the young Indian players, reckons the batting legend.
"IPL, I think, has had a tremendous contribution, in building character. When you start sharing the dressing room with the leading international cricketers in the world and you spend time together for two months... earlier, when we were playing.... if I had to play Glenn McGrath, I saw him after every four years in Australia.
"But now, when you have someone sitting in the same dressing room and practising with you for 60 days, you know exactly what to expect from that guy and it works other way round as well," Tendulkar opined.
He also pointed out that if a player does well in the IPL then everyone recognises him because of the massive popularity of the cash-rich event.
"I have said this before, about 3-4 years ago when all the captains were felicitated in Kanpur, I said that we have the right balance of senior cricketers, someone who are around for four-five years and new faces like Kuldeep (Yadav) and (Jasprit) Bumrah and there are some other incredibly talented guys.
"The latest talent I would say would be Prithvi (Shaw). Mayank (Agarwal) has done well. We have the right balance but overall I feel you do well in the IPL, everyone takes notice. Those guys may have done really well in Ranji Trophy or (in the) Duleep Trophy but the rest of the world does not know about it,” Tendulkar concluded.
(With PTI inputs)