Cricketer-turned-actor Salil Ankola, who is playing Suryadev on Colors’ upcoming historical period drama “Karamphal Data Shani” said that the new trend of fast cricket is far removed from the basic idea of the game.
Talking about the changing language of cricket, Salil told IANS, “The game of cricket is the contest between a bat and a ball. If no basic fight is happening, then what are you playing for'”
In a T20 match, he said, “wickets and pitches are made for the batsman, as are the rules of the game. Therefore, the tough fight is missing! The new age cricket is more about business rather than the game.”
The former international cricketer who played a Test match and 20 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) from 1989 to 1997 for India believes that Test cricket is the classic form of the game.
He also asserted that the comparison between Test cricket and T20 is like comparing biryani and burger.
“Even if you know how to prepare biryani, there is a slightly different taste every time you cook it. On the other hand, the burger tastes the same all the time. Therefore, you understand what I am trying to say. Test cricket is the real cricket for me,” the former pacer said.
Salil, who was part of the Indian team at the 1996 World Cup, and retired in 1997 due to sudden development of a bone tumor, believes that the new trend of fast cricket will not last too long.
“Though the game is minting lot of money, I don’t see it lasting for a long time. It will go to a saturation point and then come back to the basic of the game — Test cricket,” he said.
“Most of the young cricketers are not developing the temperament of playing Test matches because the opportunities are little.”
Young cricketers are making huge amounts of money now as compared to their predecessors, thanks to T20 tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Though Salil doesn’t criticise that process, he still feels that budding players should focus on preparing themselves for the longer form of the game.
“They (young cricketers) should condition their mind and body for Test cricket too. Yes, it’s true that our country doesn’t promote Test cricket enough and cricketers have to keep on playing the fast form of the game to follow the trend. But their foundation should be strong,” the former right-arm pacer said.
When asked who is the best cricketer of the current generation who is equally good in T20s and Tests, Salil said, “Virat Kohli, he is a complete cricketer. He can play in any format with equal zest. Dhoni is also a good cricketer but Virat is young and has a long way to go.”
Salil is quite busy with the second innings of his life in the world of entertainment. Though he doesn’t miss playing cricket too much, he still remembers the good old days and came up with memories of the only Test he played for India — against arch-rivals Pakistan in Karachi.
“After our Karachi match, Sachin (Tendulker) ordered a bat that was yet to delivered. It was around 12:30 at night, we all were sleeping and Sachin was sleepwalking and murmuring,’Where is my bat’ Where is my bat”. (Laugh) That is Sachin Tendulkar for you, always in his world of cricket,” he said.