Dual pressure for Ūkeeper now: Dave
Breather from the sky for beleaguered India
Kapil to head BCCIís pace wing
Atwal close to making it
Underdogs no match
Ever-Ready in title leg

Port Elizabeth, Nov. 19: 
Having had an out standing innings as South Africaís No.1 wicket keeper, Dave Richardson is now busy with a mil lion things: Acting as the national players. repre sentative, business director of an international sports marketing firm, TV commentator... Itís a long list.

The affable Richardson quit in early 1998 but, by then, had 152 victims in 42 Tests and 165 in 122 onedayers. He spoke to The Telegraph, at the Holiday Inn, last evening.

Following are excerpts

On what makes a dependable wicketkeeper

Heís got to be enthusiastic, thatís for sure. I.m not suggesting he should either be talking all the time or be shuffling around but, yes, heís got to take the lead by quickly getting to the stumps for throws...Really, itís the wicketkeeper who sets the standard for smartness on the field. Then, some body good with the big gloves must have the abili ty to concentrate for long periods and, most defi nitely, heís got to be fit. Besides, of course, pos sessing able hands. If he can.t catch then,well, he can.t be a .keeper. Footwork, too, is essential. It can make a big difference. Good footwork makes wicketkeeping look easy.

On whether wicketkeepers must be .born. and can.t be moulded into one

Thatís largely true... There can be instances of wicketkeep ers who can develop or improve by working on specific tech niques. But, generally, the more natural the better. Indeed, if someone isn.t a natural, he won.t ever make it in the big league. To put it mildly, he will struggle. I think this applies to batting as well. If the natural ability isn.t there, the batsman in question won.t ever even come close to being a Sachin Tendulkar. No matter how hard he tries. Clearly, somebody can.t win the New York marathon simply be cause he or she is a regular jogger.

On whether wicketkeepers are only noticed when they drop a catch or miss a stumping

(Laughs) Yes, this hasn.t changed from the time I was playing... To go back to the first day in Bloemfontein, the ball was swinging and conditions weren.t easy for Mark Boucher.Yet, he brought off two sharp catches.The next day, though, there wasn.t even one line in the pa pers... Had Boucher dropped a catch, the pa pers would surely have had a lot to say.

On Boucher, his successor

From an early age itself, Boucher has had a good technique and, to a large extent, Bob Woolmer played a role (at the junior level)... The one difference between Boucher and me is that I was very happy if I didn.t have to bat. Boucher, however, is keen to do so and lifts his .keeping the day he does well with the bat. Sim ply put, if he bats well, he .keeps well too. Boucherís bodylanguage changes.

On whether Boucher needs to improve

At times, he can get a bit untidy while him self throwing... Otherwise, he has all the at tributes: Good foot work, smart antici pation and he never tires. He will be just as alert on the dayís last ball as he would have been on the first.

On Deep Dasgupta

During the recent triseries, he was fine against the quicks but wasn.t very sure when it came to Anil Kumble. The timing has to be right, .keeping to Kumble, and I thought Deep was a little nervous. Therefore, he had stiff hands.Well, stiff hands won.t do... His Test debut (Bloemfontein) was ordinary, but he has done well in this (second) Test. I did have a brief chat with him in Bloemfontein and, among other things, suggested he keep his head dead still while collecting. I.m sure he will improve.

On the Indian selectors regularly making changes

If anything, the selectors must be most con sistent where the wicketkeeper is concerned. If he is to do a decent job, the .keeper must get to know the bowlers.He can.t, obviously, if heís going to be changed after every series. It amounts to musical chairs and, frankly, can only help the opposition. I don.t know what went wrong, but I thought Nayan Mongia was a fine .keeper.

On outstanding wicketkeepers being rare nowadays

The trend, today, is to have a wicketkeeper who can bat at No.6 or 7. And, so, the .keeper has no option but to spend more time on his batting... In other words, the guy can.t work on his specialised job. Indeed, he is expected to contribute 50 or 60 runs, not a 20 or 30. Earlier, the principal job was to keep wickets.any runs were seen as a bonus. Not so now.

On whether, given the selectorís role, he will pick a specialist wicketkeeper or one who can handsomely contribute with the bat

Look, I don.t think you can pick a specialist who can.t bat at all. At the same time, you can.t pick a batsman and make him a wicketkeeper. An Adam Gilchrist or a Boucher is fine but, please, you can.t have Rahul Dravid doing the job.

On Gilchrist

Purely as a .keep er, heís not in the same league as Ian Healy. Gilchrist still isn.t very comfortable against Shane Warne, whereas Healy was spe cial... Yet, Gilchrist is among the best in busi ness and helps balance the Australian team. He makes a difference, doesn.t he? Somebody like Moin Khan, who contributes with the bat as well, is also effective. He doesn.t follow the conventional technique of collecting the ball on the .inside. of the body, though. Overall, Moinís been quite underrated.

On why wicketkeepers have a tough time in the West Indies

Because the bounce is so inconsistent... Healy, Boucher... All have had a tough time. Itís for this one reason that I give high marks to Ridley Ja cobs, who has done exceptionally in those condi tions. Actually, quickly adapting to different con ditions is the key to success.

On what was it like .keeping to Donald

Fun when the wicket was quick and I used to be standing back. For instance, at the Wanderers, where I would be 1820 paces behind. It wasn.t fun when one had to stand just 1112 paces back. The reactiontime, then, was that much less. If I may add, it was an experience .keeping to him in the subcontinent.

On his idol

(Smiles) We didn.t have live telecasts and so on, when I was growing up... At home, Dennis Lindsay was definitely a big name... Based on some film clips we would occasionally get to see, I did like Jeffrey Dujonís style, though. Itís when we returned to international cricket, in 1991, that I was exposed to so many .keepers. I was already 32 then, but did find something interesting in all of them. I would pick up some thing from X or Y... Has any body really been a complete wicketkeeper? I didn.t see the likes of Alan Knott...Difficult, therefore, to form an opinion.

Finally, his advice to young wicketkeepers

Keep working at your .keep ing... Thereís always some as pect which can be improved. And, remember not to concen trate on batting at the expense of your No. 1 job.


Port Elizabeth, Nov.19: 
A de layed start, two jumbo holdups and another early finish, on the penultimate day of the second Test, indicated the elements were doing their bit to help India save the game (and series). Yet, with Shiv Sundar Das falling on the fifth delivery, India were quickly looking down the barrel.

At stumps, called prematurely owing to insufficient light . de spite floodlights being in use . India were 367 short of the 395tar get. Realistically, nobody expects Sourav Gangulyís team to get there. Itís a question of whether the Indians can survive the ex tended final day.

Indeed, the opportunity for mortals to turn immortal is at hand. Of course, much depends on how Souravís boys look at what stares them in the face. Yesterday, the captain had opted to look at the clouds when asked to comment on Indiaís prospects. This evening, Sourav was spotted doing much the same.

Only, heavenly intervention alone won.t be enough to ensure the Centurion Test, from Friday, gets deciderstatus. And, what is bound to affect the Indians is Match Referee Mike Denness. un precedented act of disciplining six players, including banning Virender Sehwag for one Test.

Play here will again com mence halfanhour early, mak ing for a 1.30 pm (IST) start. How ever, with the weather bureau forecasting another day of in clement weather, the Indians should be prepared for the men tally draining inandout affair. If anything, thatís going to further queer the pitch.

In any case, conditions remain tailormade for the paceoriented South African attack. Clearly, in recent times, the Indians haven.t quite been tested like this. Itís comforting, though, that Deep Dasgupta has been determined and vicecaptain Rahul Dravid has survived 70 minutes.

Dravid has had an awful Test series (scores of 2, 11 and 2 in the first three innings) and, should the law of averages work the other way, he has to come good now.Fail ure does pain Dravid and, having weathered the initial Shaun Pol lockinspired storm, has the chance to bat India to safety.

After dithering for much of the day, not that there was plenty of cricket till 4.00 pm (local time), Pollock finally declared at 233 for five before the final .ses sion. got underway. The declara tion gave South Africa, already oneup in the threeTest series, a lead of 394.

Had the last session gone the distance, India would have had to last 41 overs. As it turned out, stumps were called after 18 only.

Actually, till the Indian second innings began, a mere 34 minutes play had been possible. That, too, in two spells: 13 minutes and 2.3 overs and 21 minutes and 4.3 overs. That wasn.t enough for Jacques Kallis, 84 overnight, to get to his tenth hundred. Pollock, however, moved from 38 to 55. Kallis. unbeaten 89 came in 299 minutes and off 229 balls.

The two holdups were in ex cess of two hours each. Moreover, instead of play beginning 30 min utes before the prerearranged schedule of 10.30 am, Day IV began at 11.00 am. Overall, the day saw 109 minutes of cricket.

[Incidentally, much of the attention at St Georgeís Park was also on Marlon Aronstam, best known for having gifted Hansie Cronje Rands 50,000 and a leather jacket after that controversial Centurion Test (versus England) two seasons ago. Described as a .bookie turnedgambler,. Aronstam couldn.t be kept away from his cellphone.

According to a source of The Telegraph, who is .occasionally contacted. by Aronstam, he was .in constant touch. with bookies in India. Apparently, Aronstam was .providing. weather updates when the live telecast was off. He went out of sight after a securityman asked him to leave an area not far from the dressing rooms.]

To return to cricket, the pres sure on India will increase, spe cially as the wicket (which has seen much sweating) is going to deteriorate. That a Pollock deliv ery was almost a grubber, very early on, only confirmed the worst fears.

Pollock, predictably, stays threat No. 1, if not the only one. Once again, he bowled superbly, getting the ball to move in the air and off the wicket. The task for the Indians is cut out.

Shiv Sundar has already paid the price for being in two minds. Indecision may not be fatal against bowlers of lesser calibre. With Pollock, itís different.

On the eve of the tour, Shiv Sundar had candidly talked about .educating. himself in South Africa. One lesson was im parted this evening.


Calcutta, Nov. 19: 
He had ended his selfimposed exile from cricket following the matchfixing controversy last month when he joined Ashish Nehra at nets at the Ferozeshah Kotla. That, though, did not have the offi cial stamp of approval from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Today, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya an nounced at a press conference that Kapil Dev will head the training wing of pace bowlers being set up in the runup to the 2003 World Cup.The legendary allround er was in the city last Saturday and agreed to take over the responsibility after a discussion with Dalmiya.

.If the country needs your services, personal feel ings and sentiments have to be set aside,. the BCCI chief said of Kapil.

The clutch of fast bowlers will be selected after the Ranji Trophy. It will include seniors as well as those at the junior level. Besides honing their skills, the wing will look into aspects like strength, endurance, stami na and injury prevention.

.A physical trainer will be there. But as Kapil was known for his su perb fitness and never got injured during his long playing career, he can give the fast bowlers some tips on remaining injuryfree,. Dalmiya said.

Kapil will be assisted by threefour former pace bowlers, and the details are being worked out, Dalmiya informed.

.Pace bowling is one of the departments we must focus on keeping in mind that the World Cup will be held in South Africa. The BCCI has thus decided to set up a pace bowlers. wing as part of National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore,. Dalmiya explained. Similarly, a wing for the spin department at the NCA will also be set up shortly.

The BCCI had earlier set up a Talent Resource De velopment Wing (TRDW) under the chairmanship of another former Test cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar.

Introspection time

On the other front, Dalmiya said that his meeting with the Indian players, coach and the selectors to sort the shortcomings plaguing the team will be held during the Test series versus England.

.The teamís performance is not at par with talent. The team members are playing more as individuals than a team, and thereís no consistency either. We have to sit and look into what elements are missing. It may not be nec essary for heads to roll but we have to look into its root cause,. Dalmiya said.


Calcutta, Nov. 19: 
Arjun Atwal of Calcutta returned a fifth round score of twounder 70 to occupy the tied39th position in the penul timate round of the final stage of the European PGA Tour QSchool.

Arjun thus tallied fourunder 356 for five rounds in the six round final stage being played at the San Rogue Club & Real Club de Golf Sotogrande in southern Spain, according to information received here.

The top 35 players will make it to the Category.11 exemption on the European PGA Tour, which would give them playing privilege throughout the 2002 season.

Atwal needs a consistent clos ing round to earn himself a full exemption on the prestigious Eu ropean Tour. The only other Indi an to qualify for the Tour is Hero Honda sponsored Jeev Milkha Singh who has been a regular there since 1998.


Calcutta, Nov. 19: 
Onesided matches were the order of the day on Day One of the Tata Futures (under18) meetís city leg at DKS courts. Not a single firstround match went the distance. The top three seeds . Sunil Kumar,Vinod Sewa and Chandra Sekhar Mo hanty . got firstround byes.

RESULTS: Boysí U18, first round: Sabyasachi Bose bt Avigyan Mitra 61, 61; Manoj Sewa bt Arpit Sharma 62, 60; Samrat Ghosh bt Soumya Sur 60, 63; Robin Das bt Rahul Jaikishen 62, 61; Dhrub Kumar bt Dharamveer Biswakarma 61, 60; Anshuman Datta bt Baibhav Das 61, 60; Md Aaqib bt Md Shorab 6 0, 62; Indradeep Mitra bt Soumit Dey 6 1, 60; Harshit Sharma bt Archisman Mitra 61, 60; Arka Mondal bt Abdesh Roy 60, 60; Bapi Haldar bt Anurag Biswas 62, 60; Farid Alam bt Manish Shaw 64, 62; Rijit Chatterjee bt Shrey Deb 64, 62.


Calcutta, Nov. 19: 
Peerless and EverReady won on an overcast af ternoon to seal berths in the championship leg of the first divi sion group A league.

Eastern Railway have made the grade, leaving one slot open to complete the fourteam grade.

Peerless whipped Railway FC 40 to move up to 34 points from 16 matches. Laltu Mondal and Dulal Patra netted a brace each.

EverReady scored through Sumit Mondal and Shyam Babu Gupta, to smash City ACís hopes of promotion to Super Division. It was a tough, hardfought en counter in which the yellow card had to be used four times. Ever Ready have 32 points from 16 games.

Kidderpore and West Bengal Police stayed alive with wins over Eastern Coalfield and CFC.

Port shock Bhratri

Calcutta Port Trust shocked Bhratri Sangha 21 in the inaugu ral match of the 17th All Airlines Gold Cup tournament today, PTI adds from Cooch Behar.

Christian Okolonko put Bhra tri 10 up in the eighth minute be fore Madhusudan Majumdar equalised in the 48th. Sanjit Saha made it 21 two minutes later.


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