“I believe that Ashwin is a fantastic bowler and to have achieved what he has achieved in a short career is outstanding. I went through a lot of criticism during my career and perhaps Ashwin also gets some of it when India travels outside of India. That I think is unfair.”, said Anil Kumble, talking exclusively to NDTV.
Former players, in recent times, have lamented the lack of quality spinners in India. But ‘Jumbo’ disagrees with the notion that India’s spin cupboard is empty.
“There are some young spinners coming through whether it is Shreyas Gopal, Axar Patel or Karn Sharma. All of them have the quality. We need to back them and be more tolerant towards spinners, like how we are tolerant towards fast bowlers or batsmen”
Kumble’s statement comes days after India recalled veterans Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh into its test squad. Post the the test team’s selection, Sunil Gavaskar had told NDTV that, “Our obsession with fast pitches in domestic cricket, pitches that are making bowlers bowling at 120 kmph look like Malcom Marshal, is affecting the quality of spinners we are producing”
Reacting to Gavaskar’s comments Kumble, who is also the head of BCCI’s technical committee said, “We have constantly discussed these issues and one recommendation that we have made strongly is to go for bouncier wickets rather than looking at grass wickets. Bounce will certainly enable not just a batsman not just a fast bowler but also bring the spinner into the equation. You may not see the results right away but in the long run I am sure all three skill sets will benefit”
Clearly, the impatient Indian cricket fan would have to learn to be tolerant, in more ways than one.