The towering Ravi Shastri has made an immeasurable contribution to Indian cricket – drafted initially as a slow left-arm orthodox, and then evolving into a dependable batsman, even opening the innings for his side when needed. It’s his keen technical know-how that has seen him contribute to the national side even today.
He speaks exclusively with Zevenworld.com to impart his insights about the role of an all-rounder in the field of cricket in the current era. Here’s what he has to say:
THE ALL-ROUNDER’S MANTRA FOR SUCCESS
It’s the mindset – for wanting to be an all-rounder. Because what follows is that the workload is almost three times the normal amount. So, getting the mindset pays paramount for you to be prepared to put in the yards as far as work is concerned - if you want to succeed as an all-rounder.
UNIQUE CHALLENGES – BAT, BOWL & FIELD
Just the physical part of it! He can’t rest. He’s in a position to get a hundred and he can’t just rest after that. He may be called on to bowl 25-30 overs and try and take three or four wickets. And then get back in and bat again, if need be. And then get back and bowl again! And apart from that, field!
That is why I say mindset is key – you’ve got to be prepared mentally that this is the workload you are going to have. And then no excuses after that. It’s about putting in the work.
NOT FOR EVERYONE – STICK TO STRENGTHS
It all depends on your strength – what you’re good at. If you’re a really good batsman, my advice would be to stick to what you’re good at. An all-rounder is more of a natural. It comes to you naturally – batting and bowling. You’ll know at some given stage in which department you’re good at. If you feel you’re good at both departments, that’s when you make the all-rounder push.
THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT KAPIL DEV
They are looking for that. If we find that, that will be massive. Not just fast-bowling all-rounders – when you go overseas, that’s when they come into play - but also a spinning all-rounder.
IS THERE SCOPE TO EVOLVE?
Tremendous! Because there are three formats of the game so it works in all the three formats. He’ll be the most wanted man, really.
It’s a big advantage to be an all-rounder at any time. The fact that you captain many sides as well, including the national team, that then makes you a proper all-rounder. This allows you to see the game, in this position, from a 360-degree perspective.
IF RAVI WOULD HAVE BEEN PLAYING TODAY…
I would be all over the shop! I would be a proper all-rounder, I would be pretty high on the stakes of the IPL bid, I would be captain of an IPL team. There’s no question about that, that’s a given! (smiles)