Dilip Vengsarkar, who played 116 Test matches, spoke on how to approach spinners in challenging conditions. Apart from dominating England in their own backyard, with three centuries at Lord’s alone, former Indian captain, Dilip Vengsarkar was a master batsman against spin bowling at home as well.
Dilip Vengsarkar: One Should Play Late And Ensure That Bat Is The First Line Of Defense
Dilip Vengsarkar’s career highest of 166 (against Sri Lanka) on a Cuttack wicket that aided vicious turn and saw puffs of dust getting kicked up, is one that best illustrated his ability.
A lot of talks were going the rounds on batsmen facing difficulties on the spin-friendly pitches that were laid out in Chennai and Ahmedabad for the second and third Tests respectively between India and England, Dilip Vengsarkar spoke on how to approach spinners in such conditions.
“The advantage for us (India) was that we are used to playing local cricket and domestic cricket against quality spinners. So that helped us quite a lot. Basically, when you see that the ball is seaming or turning, you have to work hard for runs. When the ball is spinning, one should play very late and ensure not to jab at the ball. Also, you need to ensure that bat is your first line of defense,” said the former batsman while batting on difficult wickets.
“You allow the ball to turn or bounce. It also comes out of habit. Suppose if you can’t work out the ball from the bowler’s hand, you can then work out from the air and the spinning of the seam. These things you develop only after playing and getting into a habit. We play quality spinners at the domestic level. That helps us a lot,” he said.
Dilip Vengsarkar was part of the World Cup-winning squad in 1983, Batting at the crucial number 3 position, he scored centuries against quality bowling attacks in tough conditions. He scored 6 centuries against invincible West Indies having quality pacers in the team’s ranks. He has also scored 3 centuries at the Lord’s and was the Man of the Series in 1986 when India won in England.
Axar Patel took 11 wickets in both innings combined as he is on a dream run taking 18 wickets in his first two Tests averaging a meagre 9.44.
Dilip Vengsarkar: Ravichandran Ashwin Has Got Some Extra Variety Up His Sleeve So One Has To Anticipate What He’s Bowling Next
Rohit Sharma, Indian opener attained a career-best eighth position in the ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings after a fine performance in the low-scoring third Test against England in Ahmedabad that the home side won by 10 wickets to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series.
Dilip Vengsarkar praised Rohit Sharma who was the top scorer in both the last Tests and Ravichandran Ashwin who is the leading wicket-taker.
“The first and foremost thing is that you have to see what sort of a wicket you are batting on and then accordingly, you adapt to conditions. Ashwin is a top-class spinner. So when you are playing a top-class spinner, you know he will be up to something. He has got some more (extra) variety up his sleeve so you have to anticipate what he is going to bowl next.”
“It all depends on the wicket and the situation of the match, whether you want to grind, whether you want to play late, whether you want to attack. You can’t say I will bat this way or that way, you have to improvise then and there, ” on batting against Ravichandran Ashwin.
“He is one of the best batsmen in the world. There is no question about it. The way he plays fast bowling on any surface, whether it is seaming or bouncing. Or even against spinners (in the last two Tests). It is a treat to watch him bat, ” on Rohit Sharma.
“He has a great defensive technique. Because if you have to score runs on any kind of wicket, you need a good defensive technique. How he changes gears, how he approaches the game, his attacking technique. The way he played against spinners is a treat to watch just like it is watching him against fast bowling,” on Rohit Sharma’s batting skills.
“Those days while touring England, we used to play a lot of side games against County teams.That helped us to adapt to conditions, especially in England. Once you adapt to conditions, you can spend more time in the middle and get runs in the middle. So that gives you confidence. It gave me confidence, ” on Lords where he hit 3 tons.
Ravichandran Ashwin is the leading wicket-taker with 24 wickets in 3 Tests. Rohit Sharma top-scored in the first innings with 66 and remained unbeaten on 25 in the second innings. He was the top scorer in both the last Tests after scoring 161 and 26 at Chennai in the 2nd Test. He didn’t play the limited over games and first 2 Tests of the Australian tour for being sidelined due to a hamstring injury suffered during IPL 2020.