New Delhi: Legendary all-rounder and 1983 World Cup captain Kapil Dev, in an exclusive chat with ABP News, spoke on how the present Indian cricket team can become number one across all formats and shared his thoughts on Virat Kohli, his captaincy and MS Dhoni. Kapil Dev will share his cricketing insights regularly on ABP News on every match day starting with the T20 series against Australia beginning tomorrow. The first episode with Kapil will be telecast on ABP News on Friday, 9 pm.
In an exclusive chat with ABP News, Kapil praised skipper Virat Kohli for setting new benchmarks in international cricket and says his decisions have changed the face of world cricket. “Virat has a got a new fuel to fire this Indian team to the top. And that fuel is fitness. He has taken fitness levels to a different level and his strictness for fitness, for himself and forever member to get into the team, means he has given a new definition term and is forcing world over to change perception about fitness in cricket. “Cricket is always considered a skill-based game but let me tell you that skills can only be used well if you have the fitness. Every captain comes in with his own thought and what he requires from his players. Virat has made it clear what he requires from his team. He wants the fittest players, and let me tell you that is how cricket will be played in future. Virat is changing the face of how cricket will be played in years to come.
“You need to be fit to dominate in the last 50 years, fitness of player was in doubt, but now Virat has changed it all. He has made it clear that if you are not fit you cannot play for the country. Yuvraj and Raina can still big sixes but if they are not fit as per the standards which this Indian team demands, Virat has made it clear even big players are not assured of a spot. The challenge is now for Yuvraj and Raina to come up to the standards which the team demands from them.”
In football, every player does not score a goal but you need several people to take the ball near the goal. Similarly in cricket every player cannot get a 100 but the 40s and 50s are equally important. In this team, we have a player who can set up a match well and also win matches single-handedly.
“ If you ask me who is the backbone of this team, I will not say it is the captain but for me the Backbone of this team is MS Dhoni. The kind of experience which he has is phenomenal. Anybody can have a say on how he used to play and how he is playing now and that he has changed his game but for any player who has played 300 ODIs and has an average of 50 we do not even have the right to talk about him. If your team is number 1, it is because you have a player like Dhoni in the team.”
The former Indian skipper felt that this Indian team has the potential to become No.1 across all three formats. Kapil feels it is ready to dominate the cricketing world, and isn't No.1 just like that.“If we look at our team and compare it with other teams in the world, then I can say with assurance that this team has an X factor. That this team has all ingredients to become the world no.1 team. There is no doubt in my mind with regards to that...because for the first time we have seen that the Indian team may not have the so-called big name players like Sachin, sourav, Laxman, Sehwag... still this team is winning. To become a big player like them you need to give them time... and I can say that they will all be big names in some years..some of them already are.”
“ In the recent series we saw first-choice players like Rahul or Shikhar or any fast bowler or spinner, even when they are not in the eleven, the reserves come in and they win you matches. That means Indian team doesnt just have 12-15 players but 20-25 players who are all good and ready to win you games in any format. And that is the big positive,” says Kapil.