Legends League | ‘We just took the eye off Test cricket’

Dominic Cork.

Dominic Cork.

England has had a disastrous Ashes campaign Down Under. Some of the blame for it has been laid at the door of the IPL by certain quarters.

Dominic Cork, however, begs to differ. “We will blame anything,” the former England all-rounder told The Hindu . “We will blame the IPL, The Hundred. The reason is that we just took the eye off Test cricket.”

He feels the reason is due more to the decline of the four-day domestic game in England. “We don’t have the quality we had back in the 1990s when we had top overseas players,” said Cork, who is here as television commentator for the Legends League Cricket. “We used to have Mohammed Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Holding, Brian Lara and many others.”

He said the current England batting also lacked the likes of Michael Atherton, Alec Stewart, Graham Gooch, Robin Smith, Allan Lamb and Mike Gatting. “They could bat all day,” he said. “I was lucky to play in that generation.”

‘Lillee-MRF began it’

India didn’t have that much depth in pace bowling at that time. “India has come along greatly in fast bowling,” he said. “Dennis Lillee and the MRF began it all. “Then Duncan Fletcher as a coach ensured that India had the firepower.”

He is impressed by India’s current pace battery. “I have seen them in the IPL and then developing into fine bowlers, like Navdeep Saini,” he said. “With spinners like R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja and all the pacers India could bowl any side out.”

He is not so sure about India playing four pacers in Tests. “That may be one too many as it weakens the batting,” he said.

Cork believes the IPL is the best T20 league in the World. “India has got it absolutely spot on,” he said. “You have the best players, from overseas and domestic. It is well supported and you have full houses. The franchise cricket has worked well. The teams are adored by fans.”

He said he enjoyed commentating on the IPL, especially in the Dugout. “It’s a great concept,” he said. “You have bowlers like Brett Lee and me explaining fast bowling and we have also players like Lara and Graeme Swann.”

(The writer is in Muscat at the invitation of Legends League Cricket).

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Printable version | May 25, 2022 12:57:16 am |