There are very few world-class fast bowlers in Test Cricket right now, feels Sachin Tendulkar
A dearth of quality pace bowlers has all but put an end to the iconic duels which once added to the charm of Test cricket, said the iconic Sachin Tendulkar, who is worried about the traditional format’s health.
A Sunil Gavaskar vs Andy Roberts or a Dennis Lillee vs Imran Khan was worth the wait during the 1970s and ’80s. Similarly, a Tendulkar vs Glenn McGrath or Wasim Akram used to be a connoisseur’s delight.
But not anymore, feels the man, who played 200 Test matches in his illustrious 24 years in international cricket.
“Rivalries which people invariably looked forward to are no longer there because there are very few world-class fast bowlers right now. That element I am sure is missing. The quality of fast bowling can surely be better without any doubt,” Tendulkar told PTI while analysing how cricket has evolved in the past 30 years (15th November, 1989) since he made his debut.
Asked if the competitiveness, as far as Test cricket is concerned, is confined to only three countries (India, Australia and England), the maestro agreed.
“The standard of cricket has gone down which is not great news for Test cricket. The standard needs to go up and for that, I would again say that the root cause is the playing surfaces,” he said.
“I think it has also got to do with the kind of pitches that are provided. If we provide fair pitches where fast bowlers, as well as spinners, get help, then balance between bat and ball will be restored.
“If the balance is missing then the contest becomes weak and it fails to grab eyeballs. Test cricket must have good wickets,” said the man who has scored 15, 921 runs with 51 hundreds,” he added.
For Tendulkar, the model pitches are the ones on which the Ashes was played in England.
“I feel this year’s Ashes had some of the best Test pitches in recent times. Magnificent I would say.
The only time they moved to Old Trafford, you saw that Test wasn’t as exciting as the ones at the Headingley, or the Lord’s Test or for that matter even the one at the Oval. I thought those Test matches were exciting,” he said.