Former Indian Cricketer and a legend, Bishan Singh Bedi has said that for Test Cricket's survival it's really important that the marquee series like the upcoming 5-match Test series captures the imagination of everyone. The great man wants England and India to remind the world why Test cricket remains special and is the pinnacle of our sport.
In an interview recently given to Independent, he was quoted saying, “This Test series is hugely important, I think it’s really important that this series becomes like the Ashes and captures the imagination in both India and England. We need full stadiums and we need some great cricket. It’s an onerous responsibility to ensure that these cricketers to help keep Test cricket alive.”
“My philosophy is simple, I hope for the best but I’m also prepared for the worst. I hope and wish that Test cricket doesn’t die while I’m still alive. It must flourish, it has to flourish to keep cricket alive. What are we looking for? The game of cricket must not lose out on its character. Can you imagine any other sport doing what cricket has done? People don’t have time to play golf so they cut it down from 18 holes to three holes. It wouldn’t happen. It wouldn’t happen in football either. Or any other sport."
Being the harshest critique of the shorter formats of the game that he is, Bedi said, “The basic character of cricket is that it’s played leisurely over five days – not bloody 20 overs or 100 balls, which is even more ridiculous. We need England and India to remind the world just why Test cricket is so special."
Bedi, who played 67 Tests for India and charmed the batsmen with beautifully classical left-arm spin for 266 wickets during his time, is excited about young Kuldeep Yadav. Having seen him play, Bedi believes, the wrist spinner has what it takes to go a long way.
“He has been quite a revelation – I’ve enjoyed watching him, A few of the batsmen, particularly Joe Root, looked as though they had found him out by the end of the one-day series. But my contention has always been that we have to preserve this kid (Yadav). He has to preserved for the longest form of the game. I’m not very enthused by him in T20 and one-day cricket – he has done well, but he must be preserved for the longest version, which is Test cricket."
“He enjoys his craft and he’s able to transport the fun and enjoyment that he shows to the spectators. That’s perhaps his valuable attribute. I like to think that he has come along at just the right time, not just for spin bowling in India but spin bowling everywhere."
Bedi thinks Kuldeep could well be a matchwinner in the series, with the weather on the dry side in the later half of the English summer. He said, “England has had a very beautiful dry summer so far and although that must surely be due to change, all the Indians will hope that it stay like it has been. But you can’t trust the English weather. If the clouds come and the rain arrives then the Indian’s will have to dig a little bit deeper.”
“Kuldeep is different, he’s a very, very special variety of spinner – the sort we don’t see very often. The last one we saw do it really well was Sir Garfield Sobers and he wasn’t too sure about it either. He would end up as an orthodox spinner or a left-arm quick, which shows you not just what an amazing talent he was but also just how hard it is to bowl.”
(Inputs from Independent.co.uk)