The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Manjrekar against Dravid ’keeping

Calcutta: The Indian team has been doing well in the shorter version of the game of late, but the decision to field Rahul Dravid as wicketkeeper continues to be a debatable issue. Sanjay Manjrekar, for one, doesn’t endorse the move.

“It can only be a stopgap arrangement and can’t work on a long-term basis. To be successful on a consistent basis, we have to find a proper wicketkeeper-batsman,” the former middle-order batsman told The Telegraph Wednesday, taking a break from the TV commentary box.

Manjrekar felt that doubling up as wicketkeeper also puts additional pressure on Dravid. “He is too vital a batsman for us. It’s important to ensure he stays fresh to that job,” added the former Mr Dependable.

However, the Mumbai man appeared pretty pleased with the overall performance of the team in recent times. “Earlier, India was known to be a team successful only on home turf. But this team seems to be good enough to win on foreign soil as well.”

Asked about the reason behind this transformation, Manjrekar said: “We were too dependent on a couple of players. But this Indian team has a number of match-winners.”

Conversation veered to the nature of the new pitch at Eden Gardens and what Manjrekar said might encourage the troubled West Indians. “This pitch seems to be the best that we have seen in the series so far. It seems to have the carry.”

Before the start of the Eden Test, there was apprehension about the nature of the wicket and many had felt it wouldn’t offer much bounce.

Manjrekar welcomed the BCCI’s decision to overhaul the pitches at ten venues across the country. “It’s a step in the right direction and we’ll have to wait a while to see the benefit.”

Like many, he is also sad to see the sorry state West Indian cricket. “The team I played against in the 1980s was much stronger. It’s a pity to find such a ‘flair team’ suffering from such dearth of talent,” Manjrekar signed off.

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