Former India player Sandeep Patil was one of the most aggressive and dashing players of all time. Star of India’s win over England in the 1983 World Cup semi-final, Sandeep Patil has called for batsmen to have good technique over footwork.
“This footwork thing is over-blown. You should have good technique, keen eye and most important the confidence. That is what helped me when I played i England. True I played just two Tests there but I did have lot of seasons in minor county and did not fail, “said Patil, ahead of India’s Test series in England.
Patil also talked about the Old Trafford Test of 1982, when he hit English fast bowler Bob Willis for six fours in an over during his swashbuckling innings of 129.
“It just happened. It was my day. That’s it. He was a gentleman, a fantastic bowler and had to be watched closely. At the end of it he patted me warmly but greeted me with a first-ball bouncer in the next Test. You could not take someone like Willis lightly,” Patil told Sportstar.
He further says, “I think my batting average in the tour games was not even ten. I was going through a torrid time on the domestic front and my mind was very disturbed. In fact at one stage I told Sunil (Gavaskar) to send me back to Bombay. But he had faith in my abilities and gave me a long lecture which convinced me to stay on. Ghulam Parkar and Ashok Malhotra failed in the first Test (at Lord’s) and I got my break at Old Trafford.”
Talking about the so-called difficult playing conditions in England, Patil said, “I think it is all made up. I hardly faced any issues. Not that I scored runs in thousands in England but I was not in any discomfort really. It is just that wherever I got runs I never played there (Australia and England). I was lucky that Tatas had sponsored my trip to England in 1979 to play some club cricket. I even bowled to the Indian team on tour then in the nets but this thing about English conditions was exaggerated.”
Patil concluded by saying, “The great Vijay Manjrekar had remarked I wouldn't succeed in England because of my technique. I did not fail because I believed in timing the ball than worry about my footwork. I would say the current batsmen should look to time the ball, learn to wait for the ball when playing in England, and put away the fear of failure.”
(With inputs of Sportstarlive.com)