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India should have had a practice match: Gundappa Viswanath

By Sujata Sarkar
India lost the first Test to South Africa in Cape Town

Bengaluru, January 10: A legend of the game, Gundappa Viswanath feels the visiting Indian team should have had one practice match before their opening Test match against South Africa which they eventually lost in Cape Town.

The great crafty right-handed batsman of seventies, speaking over phone from Bengaluru said, "Unless you take part in one practice match you will not be able to acclimatise with the weather condition as well as character of the pitch. You must need practice to acquire. If you cannot get that opportunity you will have to spend more time at the nets than scheduled time. Otherwise it becomes difficult for any team in the world to cope up with condition."

Asked about the failure of the batsmen in Cape Town the 68-year old stated, "I personally feel the batsmen must think of reaching exactly behind the ball when it is moving around. The batsmen should try to avoid side-shots. This is the basics of batting. But we fail to apply these things while batting."

Commenting on Vernon Philander, Viswanath said, "He is very accurate. That is why he got success. Consistency in accurate line and length along with movement always puts the batsmen in trouble." But he also had high praise for the Indian fast bowlers. He added, "After a long time I watched three Indian pacers do super class bowling consistently and cracked South African innings at 130 runs. It has been a real gain for all of us."

But Viswanath was a little cautious while talking about Hardik Pandya. The former legend of the game said, "He is good fighter. He put perfect spirit during the crisis. But he will not be able to get similar success in all Tests. He has to be mature and deliver according to situation especially in Test cricket."

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    Story first published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 11:36 [IST]
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