Feb 17, 2014
“Oh yes, definitely… Don’t be fooled by what happened here recently. It is going to be very dry at that time of the year when World Cup is going to be held, ideal for the spinners to bowl. If you look at the history of the World Cup, the spinners have been very dominant,” said Patel who was speaking to India Today.
Patel who has played 75 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 37 Test matches for New Zealand is surprised at India not including Ravichandran Ashwin during the ongoing India-New Zealand Test series and added,” I think India played into New Zealand’s hands by not playing Ashwin in Auckland and now here. He would have certainly made a huge difference. As much as Jadeja is also a very talented bowler and helps with the bat as well. I think a lot of people don’t quite understand that New Zealand pitches do bounce a lot for spinners now. It has never been the same in the past but now the wickets are conducive for spin bowling. Not playing Ashwin, yes, I think, they might regret it.”
“I am sure this tour is very disappointing from the Indian team’s perspective. When you back-up from South Africa as well and coming here to play such a low ranked country like New Zealand and not performing, I am sure there will be a few questions that will be asked. But, having said that, we are still in the middle of the Test match. And, if India are able to win this last game, things might be different,” said Patel who was ‘surprised’ at India’s poor showing in the ongoing series.
When queried about former New Zealand skipper Martin Crowe asking him to open the bowling against Australia in the 1992 World Cup, Patel said,” Yeah, at that time it was a rarity. It was something of a gamble we took. Something that Martin Crowe still speaks about. He admits that it was a gamble which could have ended our run. But, as it turned out, we were very successful and made it to the semifinal. It is good to see that it is being used regularly in international cricket now, particularly one-day cricket. I don’t understand why they still don’t use this tactic in Test cricket, particularly in the second and third innings of a Test match.”
Patel who now has a cricket academy at Auckland where he grooms young talent also has mentored the young New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi who played against India in the first Test match at Auckland.
“Ish is a very young man and a very talented one. I think he has got everything in front of him. He is learning and I don’t think that you would see the very best of Ish for the next two or three years. He’s got a lot to learn. He will develop and I am very confident that Ish in a two or three years’ time will hold his own in the New Zealand team,” said Patel about Sodhi.
“I had a long sting with New Zealand Cricket (NZC). I have achieved everything I wanted to in New Zealand. I think it is time for me to go overseas now and get more coaching experience. Who knows, one day I might be able to come to India,” concluded Patel about his ideas of coaching teams abroad in the near future.
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