John Wright backs MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar; positive about Indian cricket's future

Former India coach John Wright on Tuesday questioned the ICC's approval of the much-debated concept of playing day-night Test and wondered whether it would work in reality.

Updated: October 30, 2012 19:27 IST
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Kolkata: Former India coach John Wright on Tuesday questioned the ICC's approval of the much-debated concept of playing day-night Test and wondered whether it would work in reality.

"I'm a traditionalist. I'm not so sure about its feasibility if a Test is played in New Zealand under freezing cold conditions. It might have been done to get more TV viewership and attract more crowd," the 58-year-old said here.

Asked to comment on the current phase of Indian cricket under coach Duncan Fletcher, the 58-year-old said: "Let's hope Indian cricket is going forward."

"We had our challenges, while Gary's (Kirsten) stint was well-documented. But Fletcher has not finished yet and for me to make a comment about his coaching would not be right."

But he appeared concerned about India's plight overseas, after their back to back eight Test defeats.

"You have to stem the flow. To be no. 1, you need to win Tests overseas," said the New Zealander, veteran of 82 Tests between 1978-93.

Indian cricket's rise began with Wright's successful association with Sourav Ganguly. India became No 1 Test team under Mahendra Singh Dhoni but slipped down the ladder following their 0-4 whitewash in England and then an equally ignonimous outing in Australia.

But, Wright said, it's early to judge Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. "They had reached no. 1 status under Dhoni and he has been successful for the side. You always have ups and downs."

Wright also said that the great Sachin Tendulkar should be left alone to take a call on his cricketing career. "Great cricketers like Tendulkar know the pride they carry about representing India. Their awareness level is always high, that's why they are great.

"I've full confidence that he would make the right timing about when and where to finish. But as long as he is there, he would be at full flow," Wright said with a smiling.

Wright was also not too concerned at the number of times Tendulkar was getting bowled of late.

"If I am not wrong, he gets bowled mostly to left-armers. I remember him getting bowled to West Indian Pedro Collins too a few years ago.

"But, I don't think there is a technical flaw or a matter of serious concern. He is good enough to overcome these challenges," the New Zealander said.

"I am really optimistic of Sachin scoring a century or even a double century. For, I am sure he should be acutely motivated to have a go at the Englishmen and the Australians later this year," he pointed out.

Asked whether India should prepare turning tracks to take the home advantage in the upcoming four-Test series against England, Wright said: "You would always want to take the home advantage. But a Test should last the full five days.

"I would not endorse a wicket that starts turning from day one. It's really good to have a good batting strip for first three days and then it should assist the spinners." Wright was also not sure whether IPL would help out producing high class Test cricketers.

"It's very difficult for young cricketers to learn the game from IPL. It's a challenge to produce high quality Test cricketers," he said.

Wright was in the city as the brand ambassador of the Southern Institute of Technology (Auckland) as part of its tour to eight Indian cities.

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