India should prioritise their cricket: WarneAugust 23rd, 2011 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS
London, Aug 23 (IANS) Australian spin legend Shane Warne says India’s resounding loss against England in the Test series has exposed their weakness in the longer format and it is time they start giving equal attention to all the three forms of the game.
India were no match for England in what was billed as a high-profile series. They lost the series 0-4, going down by an innings and eight runs at The Oval Monday.
Warne says most Indian batsmen were found wanting against the short ball and one way they could improve on that is by playing more first-class and Test matches.
“India have had trouble with picking one side for this series. After this humiliating whitewash they need to go away and identify their priorities. The BCCI has a responsibility to international cricket to make sure everyone wants to play Test cricket,” Warne wrote in his column in the Daily Telegraph Tuesday.
“India’s players need to appear more in first-class and Test cricket. Too many of their players have struggled against the short ball in England and their bowlers could not take wickets on flat pitches. They need to look at the age bracket of their middle order. Rahul Dravid has been fantastic.”
Warne sees some Indian players preferring Indian Premier League over country as a real concern for Indian cricket though he has no problems with the T20 event.
“It is a real concern that Indian players are putting the IPL ahead of Test cricket. They miss tours to the West Indies and Tests against England, but are all too happy to play in the IPL.
“The IPL and one-day cricket has a role to play but, if India lead the charge to make Test cricket the priority for all players, that will help everyone around the world.
“The IPL is a wonderful tournament and there should be a four-week window around April-May when everyone is available to play in it. But if India committed to Test cricket a lot more, other boards would be happy to let their players appear in the IPL. It is about give and take.”
Warne, however, believes India can be the No.1 Test side once again.
“In one-day and Twenty20 India are formidable because that is what they are used to playing but it is the very reason why priorities have to be redressed. If India sort their bowlers out and get some quicks and spinners they could get back to No.1 fairly soon but they have not played well here because England have not allowed them to settle. They (England) showed a spirit and fight that India have lacked.”
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