Calcutta: The legendary spin quartet of Bishan Singh Bedi, Srinivas Venkatraghavan, Erapalli Prasanna and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar will be working together “after quite sometime” when they meet here on Friday to chalk out the course of action for the Spinners’ Wing at the National Cricket Academy.
Joining them will be Bapu Nadkarni, V.V. Kumar, Rajinder Goel, Padmakar Shivalkar, Shivlal Yadav, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and Harbhajan Singh. Anil Kumble, who is overseas on vacation, could not make it. Harbhajan was invited following Kumble’s unavailability.
All but Harbhajan arrived in the city by evening. The off-spinner will take the morning flight on Friday from Delhi.
Bengal’s Utpal Chatterjee, who was co-opted as the 12th member, will be East’s lone representative.
Besides president Jagmohan Dalmiya, the BCCI is supposed to be represented by secretary S.K. Nair, joint secretary Jyoti Bajpai and treasurer Kishore Rungta.
“It will be a nice opportunity to share my valuable experience with the panel,” said Prasanna of the “brainstorming session”.
The offspinner, along with Chandrasekhar, were among the first to troop into the city this morning from Bangalore.
Prasanna says he will always prefer an attack, be it pace or spin, capable of picking wickets regularly. That will form the basis of his suggestions at the meeting.
“It’s always important to take wickets. Spin is an act of creativity unlike pace which intimidates the batsmen. Seam bowling, however, is a different art.”
What are his feelings when he sees the national team packed with pacers these days' “We always wanted to have one pacer during our time when the side had three spinners. Similarly, the boys now would be yearning for a spinner,” said Prasanna.
An opinion shared by Chandrasekhar. “Initially, there was no place for a spinner in one-day cricket. But nowadays every team has two spinners in their ranks.”
The leg-spinner, who remains in excellent spirits despite being on crutches after an accident in the late 1980s, feels spotting the right talent will be important in grooming spinners.
“You can’t manufacture spinners. Youngsters will prosper if they have the talent. You can only give them the necessary guidance,” he said.
Chandrasekhar, who believes Muttiah Muralidharan is the best in business now, feels spin is not a dying art. “Even now we have good spinners. But because of so much of one-day cricket, they do not meet with much success.
“Spinners have to bowl without short legs and silly points in one-dayers. They don’t get used to bowling in Tests from early in their careers. It hampers their wicket-taking ability,” he said.
No ICPA invitation
Both Chandrasekhar and Prasanna were never invited to be part of the Indian Cricket Players’ Association. “The ICPA idea is not bad. But I wasn’t informed about it and came to know only through newspapers,” said Chandrasekhar. If the invitation comes through now, he will “find out the details” and then decide.