HYDERABAD: Former captain and coach Ajit Wadekar was a staunch advocate of tailor-made pitches for spinners. But as India finished the Mohali and Nagpur Tests inside three days, the 74-year-old felt the present think-tank is going bit too far.
“In Test cricket, it should not spin from the first ball. There should be something for the new-ball bowlers for the first two days. On the fourth and fifth days, the wear and tear of the wicket would come into picture. It will help the spinners on the last two days. Basically, the match should last five days. It should not be one-sided, either favoring the batsmen or bowlers. It is okay to win the series on home advantage,” he told Express.
The former left-handed batsman, who played in 37 Tests and was an excellent player of spin, said South African batsmen lacked the skill and technique to counter spinners.
Wadekar pointed out that during their playing days, it was a different challenge. “There were no covers on the wicket. The batsmen had to be technically equipped to play the spin on any turning wicket. One has to go forward and kill the spin. Good footwork is the key to play the spinners. During our days spinners like Bishan (Singh Bedi), (EAS) Prasanna, (S) Venkataraghavan, (B) Chandrasekhar were crafty bowlers. The domestic cricket itself was tough.’’
Wadekar felt R Ashwin was the best find in recent times. “He is quite a deceptive spinner. Unfortunately, South Africans don’t watch his wrist. He has good variations.’’
For the former captain, the strips for this series would not matter to Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Viswanath. “Any wicket, spin or pace, Gavaskar and Viswanath would get their usual quota of runs.”