Sport

Afghanistan Test is wrongly scheduled: Dilip Vengsarkar

Afghanistan Test is wrongly scheduled: Dilip Vengsarkar”

"I think since the side is Afghanistan, he has chosen to play county cricket". If I were a selector, I would have asked [Cheteshwar] Pujara to stay back and play county cricket [for Yorkshire], because he is one of the guys who will play in England. Vengsarkar, who also served as the chief selector between 2006 and 2008, believes that instead of playing against Afghanistan, India should have concentrated on planning for the Test series in England.

A former chairman of the national selection committee and one who fast-tracked Kolhi's worldwide debut, Vengsarkar played 13 Tests in England, scored 960 runs at 48.00 and with four centuries (three at Lord's) and as many half centuries. "So, he would've got more chances to play in England, scored runs and got into the groove", Vengsarkar added.

While there was some confusion with the dates of India's two T20 games against Ireland (June 27 and 29) clashing with Kohli's last County game for Surrey against Yorkshire at Scarborough (June 25 to 28), it is learnt that the skipper wants to keep all options open.

Vengsarkar also supported captain Virat Kohli's decision to prefer a County stint over the one-off Test to prepare for the challenging England tour.

Stating that Day-Night Test is the future, former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Thursday said India have enough quality to tackle the pink ball, also hinting that sooner or later Virat Kohli and Co. will have to play under lights over five days. "The last tour was not a good tour for him, so he is very keen to do well".

In addition, playing a wrist spinner in Tests would be advantageous for India as England's batsmen aren't too competent against leg-spinners, reasoned Vengsarkar. But then, this is a Test match.

The Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team will look to bury the ghosts of its past when they embark on a long and arduous tour of England spanning three months starting July. Every country has to play day-night Tests. If you see the last tour against South Africa, you hardly got any match in the lead-up to the first Test. "You can't take it lightly also".

Nevertheless, he was pleased with the itinerary of the England tour, which begins with the limited over games before the Tests, and allows the Indian players to feature for India A against their English counterparts. It is good for Indian cricket.

READ|Will Virat Kohli cross the final frontier in England this summer? Of course, the England your will be "the tour" for him.

On whether India could defeat England, Vengsarkar said, "Yes I expect a lot from the tour of England simply because we have got fast bowlers and lots options in fast bowlers which was not the case before". The team is balanced and the fast bowlers are good at global level. We have a balanced team.

"I saw him (Pant) yesterday". I have never seen those shots before and I think he played extremely well.



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