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Present era spinners don't attempt to take wickets: Prasanna

Mumbai, Sep 7, 2013 (PTI):
Legendary cricketer Erapalli Prasanna. DH photo

Not too impressed with the current lot of spinners in international cricket, the legendary Erapalli Prasanna said not a single tweaker of the present era attempts to take wickets.

"Honestly tell me, which bowler is attempting to take a wicket. I have never seen an individual bowler, especially an off-spinner in the present era attempting to take a wicket. Instead, he is attempting to hit the pad to get a leg before decision," Prasanna said.

"When a bowler is attempting to do that (get LBW), he is sacrificing his talent. If a bowler is not attempting to take a wicket, who will give you a wicket," he added.

Prasanna recalled his playing days as he highlighted the significance of aiming for wickets.

"When we were playing Test match, we believed in bowling to the field. Bishen (Singh Bedi) and Chandrasekhar were at mid-on and mid-off and within a matter of six strides, I had to think, how least the ball would go to them. What actually happened was that it developed my bowling skills.

"I had to bowl in such a way that the ball would go to the close fielders like Ajit Wadekar, Eknath Solkar. The true cricket follower appreciated the contest between the bat and the ball, which was very very important, which is not there now," he added.

Prasanna further said he and Bedi would have been successful in the shorter format of the game. "We would have been successful, there is no doubt on that issue because we had deception on us, we had the flight. These days even when they try to flight the ball and the commentators say they toss the ball. When a ball is tossed up, you get hit. If there is deception and spin, you will win," he said.

Bedi said he did not understand the bowlers' need to experiment with the doosra and teesra.

"Cricket has a lot of social connotations. What would you call the other man in a woman's life, a doosra. If it is not acceptable socially, then why is it acceptable in the cricket field? Forget doosra and teesra, try bowling the first one properly," he said.

Talking about the current Indian team, former left-arm spinner said J&K off-spinner Parvez Rasool would get the impetus to catch up with mainstay R Ashwin after being drafted in the squad for the last tour.

"Ashwin is beginning to enjoy the responsibility of being the leading wicket-taker and perhaps the go to man for the Indian captain. As far as Rasool is concerned, he has a fair amount to cover, to catch up with Ashwin. At least he is in frame now and that should help him to gain a little more impetus and change his outlook towards the game," he said.

Asked if there is a concern with the present Indian bowling attack that is pace-dominated, Bedi said, "Who is concerned about this in BCCI? When things are going alright, everything appears to be hunky dory."

Meanwhile, former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad said even the IPL has brought in spectators but Test cricket remained the real game.

"Six years back, before the IPL started, Indian cricket was getting lethargic. It was going low. It looked like we might land up in a position like West Indies. The day cricketers would not play cricket but play basketball or football.

"IPL lightened the game suddenly. It got so much popularity that stadiums started filling up. There was nobody to watch Test matches, forget Ranji Trophy matches. After IPL, things have picked up. Lot many coaching centres have come up," he said.

"I am not a big fan of T20. I try and advocate to youngsters that they should not emulate what happens in IPL otherwise your cricket is over. As a game, Test cricket is real cricket," he added.

Bedi felt that first-class cricket is the base for international cricket and said the country would benefit from zonal contests in the domestic tournaments.

"It (IPL) is not my cup of tea. For me, first class cricket is your base. It builds you for international competition. First class -- Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy -- had a lot of significance when we were playing.


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