Thursday, February 04, 2010

Talking points

As part of his contract with CricInfo, Harsha Bhogle is recording interviews with cricketers and folks related to cricket. The first installment of Opening up features VVS Laxman.

You can hear the fellow speak here (or read the transcript if you wish to). Fairly predictable answers to softly lobbed questions. Occasionally, Laxman wanders off the beaten track but not too far. Also, when it happens, Harsha does not delve deeper. The following exchange is an example of that. Laxman identifies a problem and rather than probe further, Harsha continues with his line of (presumably) prepared questions.
Harsha Bhogle: So when you are not playing international cricket and there is this big gap, the only form of cricket you really can play is domestic cricket. I know you've played in England, but I will come to that as we go along. Domestic cricket in India, how much is the gap, how much do you have to raise your game to play Test match cricket?

VVS: There is a huge gap, and there is no doubt about that. Especially in the last three years, because the players left their domestic state teams and joined Indian Cricket League (ICL); so definitely there was a huge void in the quality of players playing. (...) That said, there is definitely a huge gap between international cricket and domestic cricket, for the single reason that you are not getting good quality bowlers. The Indian team itself is struggling to find some quality spinners, apart from the guys who are playing for the team. You will find that there is no bench strength as far as spinners are concerned. So definitely the quality of domestic cricket has come down as far as bowling department is concerned.

Harsha Bhogle: Is concentration a problem, because you know when you are playing first-class cricket there is a bad ball coming every couple of overs that you can actually put away. Do you still have to get used to the idea of waiting for the bad ball when you come back

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