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Kapil: No point blaming pitches

Coimbatore: Praising the New Zealand side for coming up with an impressive performance in the drawn first Test, allrounder Kapil Dev on Tuesday blamed India’s slow run rate for its failure to force a win at Ahmedabad.

“Do not look for any excuses. Indians are playing on the same pitches for the last 40 to 50 years,” Kapil told reporters here, in an obvious reference to skipper Sourav Ganguly’s criticism of the placid Motera track for the draw.

“It was also very sad that Indians, who had played a lot of one-day cricket, failed to score more than 250 runs in a day in a Test match,” he said. “India should have maintained an average of more than 3.5 runs per over, instead of below three runs.

“We have played on the same pitches for the last so many years. Moreover, New Zealand also played better cricket.”

Citing examples of pitches in England, South Africa and Australia, Kapil said efforts should be made to prepare tracks in India which would produce results in five days.

Kapil said there was an urgent need to improve fielding and running between the wickets. Another problem was lack of enough bowlers, he said. Though the country was producing lots of batsmen, it was not paying much attention towards producing class bowlers.

Disagreeing with former Pakistan captain Imran Khan’s view that Sachin Tendulkar is not a matchwinner, Kapil said even Sir Donald Bradman had endorsed the Indian’s batting calibre.

“It could be Imran’s own opinion. It does not mean Sachin cannot win a match,” Kapil said. “Sachin is a matchwinner and the best batsman in the world, which has been endorsed by the great Sir Don.”

Kapil said Matthew Hayden, who broke Brian Lara’s highest Test score by hitting 380 against Zimbabwe last week, has proved that he is one of the top batsmen.

Asked whether any one else will go on to better Hayden, Kapil said there are a few who have the capability to do so. “Test matches are played in different conditions and at different centres. Hayden has been playing very well for the last two years and Rahul Dravid was also in good nick for the last couple of years. But it could be anybody,” he said.

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