As Indian domestic cricket circuittries to reinvent itself, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar on Saturday suggested that every Ranji Trophy game should be played on two different pitches to prepare a better Test team for overseas assignments.
He also had an interesting take on how to make bilateral Test series engaging by having back-to-back home and away rubbers so that the strength of two teams remains mostlyconstant but the conditions change to make for a bigger challenge.
However, it is Tendulkar's suggested innovations of twodifferent pitches for a single Ranji match which will make anyone sit up and take notice.
"I have thought a lot about neutral venues in Ranji Trophy (which is being experimented this season). I have asuggestion which can be radical. When we go to places like Australia, New Zealand, West Indies and South Africa, we playwith kookaburra balls which swings early. Think about a young Ranji batsman playing with SG Test in India and then facing difficulty overseas," Tendulkar spoke at Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.
"Let us have the first innings on a green top withkookaburra balls which would give openers a challenge. Evenbowlers will have something. Our spinners will also learn howto bowl with kookaburra on Green tops," Tendulkar explained.
His next suggestion was even more interesting.
"Now let there be a pitch adjacent to the green top whichwould be a rank Turner. Now the second innings will be playedon that track with the SG Test ball which would also help ourbatsmen play against quality spin bowling. We have been too focussed on playing pace in overseas conditions but we shouldnot forget how to play spin bowling.
"Don't forget even overseas teams are losing to us in India. May be they would start using SG in their domestic matches."For Tendulkar, two pitches, two balls in two innings of amatch takes Curator preparing designer pitches out of the equation and also nullifies the toss factor.
"A captain would start thinking that winning the tosswill give him only 10 percent advantage that is his right tochoose first. But if he chooses to bowl on green top he should remember that he would need to bat on a Turner in the fourth innings," he said making it clear that it may or may not click. In fact, BCCI president Anurag Thakur was among theaudience listening with rapt attention.