Legendary allrounder and world cup winning captain Kapil Dev believes his contemporaries Sunil Gavaskar and Kris Srikkanth would have also succeeded in T20 cricket had the format made its entrance during their playing days. Also Read - World Cup 2011 Was Won By Entire Indian Team: Gautam Gambhir Takes Exception to 'Obsession' With MS Dhoni Six
In fact, Kapil, who played 131 Tests and 225 ODIs between 1978 and 1994, has listed out several past cricketers who would have made a killing in cricket’s shortest format. Also Read - 300 or 0, Virender Sehwag Rarely Got Emotionally Hijacked: Simon Taufel
“Sunil would have been a sought-after batsman in T20,” Kapil was quoted as saying by the Sportsar. “Srikkanth started T20 in 1985 when he was smashing Imran Khan and Wasim Akram over cover and mid-off. We used to wonder what was this guy doing. Yashpal (Sharma), with his bottom hand shots over midwicket would have been a hit. He could hit from cover to midwicket with such ease.” Also Read - I'm an Indian And Will Always Stand For Humanity: Yuvraj Singh Reacts to Criticism For Supporting Shahid Afridi's Foundation
He continued, “Take (Navjot) Sidhu. Belter of the ball. Once, in the nets, he hit the ball in the air and (Bishan Singh) Bedi ordered him to run six for that shot. Madan Lal had the game for T20. Bowlers like Bedi and (Srinivas) Venkataraghavan would have shackled the batsmen. (Erapalli) Prasanna would have beaten the batsmen with his art in the air. I have not forgotten Viswanath. He would have made a mockery of the field by picking gaps with ridiculous ease. I could go on and on.”
Kapil, who scored 9031 runs and took 687 wickets during his illustrious international career, says Bedi and Gavaskar taught him two valuable life lessons – to be large-hearted and always have a plan.
“Bedi taught me the joy and importance of being large-hearted,” he said. “Life becomes simple when you display large heartedness. Sunil taught me to plan. He would keep planning. He was batting against me and had the spirit to advise me to come close to the wicket because he found it very difficult to pick my out-swinger. What a lesson I learnt from the artist. Also, my generation of cricketers did not criticise the youngsters.”
With India among several other countries placed under a complete lockdown, Kapil says the battle will be won by staying together and following the government’s advisory to stay indoors.
“India’s strength lies in our culture – looking after each other and caring for elders. We have to look to help the seniors. I know we will win this battle by staying together and strengthening the hands of our government and doctors by staying indoors,” he said.