Chairman of Selectors Sandeep Patil feels that one should start learning from defeats and grow © AFP
Chairman of Selectors Sandeep Patil feels that one should start learning from defeats and grow © IANS

Mumbai: After losing both the Twenty20 and One-Day International series to South Africa, Team India will have to “start learning and start analyzing” from the mistakes  to prepare for the upcoming Test series against the South Africans. The chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil said “this is great cricket that we are watching” at an event which was for relaunching of Shivaji Park Gymkhana (SPG) Cricket Academy on Wednesday. Patil made it very clear that he was not to speak about the India-South Africa series, but did say “Every team plays the different formats. Our team loses and we feel bad. It is bound to happen. You have the right to criticise because you are so involved with the game. (As chairman of selectors) I am at the receiving end and I feel more bad.”

“But you have to stand up and face it. You have to start learning and start analyzing why the standard has fallen. You have to forget the previous victories and concentrate on the next win,” said the 59-year-old Patil said to DNA. Patil who is a former Test batsman and a product of SPG said,  “You should always set goals that is achievable. Set smart goals.” Patil will be an advisor to SPGCA and shall not play any part in coaching or selection process. The SPGCA has over the years developed players who went on to represent Mumbai and India’A’ with a few knocking at the doors of the national team. ALSO READ: Sachin Tendulkar stopped Virender Sehwag from quitting international cricket in 2007

Praveen Amre, president of SPG said that the aim for the academy will be to provide 25 candidates in Under-14 and Under-16 categories.  “The training will be for 36 months. The interview and selection of candidates will be done on November 15 and 16 from 10 am. The entire training expenses for this project will be borne by the gymkhana,” Amre said. As president Amre was to get Rs 12 lakh from the gymkhana for the academy. “Soon after I was elected SPG president in June this year, Sandeep called me to say he wanted to help the gymkhana and its cricket. Since he was involved with the day-to-day affairs of the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore a few years ago, SPG will only benefit from his expertise,” said Amre.

Meanwhile, Patil about his part as advisor said,“I will advise on how to run the academy, the tournaments, friendly matches, etc. I won’t be part of any coaching or selection matters. I had the advantage of working with Mumbai Cricket Association for three years and why not be of use in this form for the sake of cricket,”. “Time has come, and I am nearing 60 and a retirement age, for me to contribute a bit for the development of Mumbai cricket.”, Patil was quoted.

Patil played 29 Tests for India from 1980 to 1984, said he was disappointed with the current international player not playing maidan cricket. “The standard of Mumbai cricket is going down because the stars and current players don’t participate in local tournaments. If the youngsters don’t bowl to class batsmen or the batsmen don’t face top bowlers, you are bound to see the standard of cricket falling. During the earlier days, wherever club tournaments were played in Mumbai, all the Test players participated. Hence, the standard of cricket was high. The current scenario is a concern of not just mine but also Mumbai Cricket Association’s. I appeal to all concerned to develop Mumbai cricket.” ALSO READ: Virender Sehwag to be felicitated by BCCI during India vs South Africa 2015, 4th Test at Delhi

Patil maintained that he valued his Kanga League century more than a Test century. “There have been occasions when we used to come from international tours and straightaway play local matches. Not just Sunil Gavaskar. The whole lot of us did. Even those before our days like Polly Umrigar, Ramakant Desai, Ajit Wadekar. We never missed office matches, club matches, friendlies. I remember coming from several tours like England and Pakistan in 1982 and 1984 and playing local matches. During the last two days of the tour, we would constantly check what’s going on in Talim Shield, Purushotham Shield, etc. We would plan how we’d reach our grounds on return and managed our flights accordingly,” said Patil, who scored four Test centuries in his career.

Patil who was a member of 1983 World Cup winning team said that cricket is not just a Mumbai sport but has spread it wings throughout the country.  “In Indian team, players come from small towns and different pockets of the country. You cannot just talk about Dadar Union and SPG. Mumbai earlier used to supply eight-nine players for Test cricket. Now-a-days, it is only two or three. Players in the Indian team are from all over the country and that is a healthy sign,” said Patil.

Patil who was a dashing batsman had scored a six fours in an over off England fast bowler Bob Willis at Old Trafford Test, Manchester, 1982 said that now days a player has ‘to adpat to the present situation’.“You have to change with time. You cannot compare cricket in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s with that in 2015. There is so much awareness that it is not just about bat and ball. The present demands are different. Conditions are different. Nutrition, mental aspect, the overall game of cricket have changed,” he said. ALSO READ: Sachin Tendulkar reveals surviving only on boiled food ahead of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

Patil said that he would love to play in Kanga League even now. “The last time I held a bat was in Switzerland in 2009 when India including Kapil Dev played Englishmen in the foothills of Alps. Cricket is all about mental aspect, more than technique. How you tackle situations. Kanga League teaches you to tackle difficult situations. It is so tough to score even 20 runs. I have got a hundred in Kanga League in one session that I consider better than a Test hundred,” he said.

Signing off Patil said that is important for player to remain loyal to clus and not just change year in year out.“Loyalty is very important. I consider myself very lucky to have played for Shivaji Park Gymkhana,” said Patil.