Former India cricketer and noted commentator Vivek Razdan stated that the nation's historic win at Brisbane last month wasn't an overnight success, but a process in place for many years. Vivek Razdan also credited MS Dhoni for starting the process and Virat Kohli for creating a fearless unit.
India became the first visiting team in 32 years to win a Test at the Gabba, Brisbane. Despite battling numerous injuries and Virat Kohli's unavailability, a depleted Indian side, led by Ajinkya Rahane, pulled off the unthinkable and won the Test series 2-1.
Speaking to journalist Indranil Basu on SK Live, Vivek Razdan dismissed the opportunistic talks of replacing Virat Kohli as the captain. Vivek Razdan mentioned that though the regular captain was absent, he had played a significant role in the side's win.
“We always think about the destination and get happy with it. What we saw in Brisbane wasn’t an overnight success. It’s a process in place for the past few years. It started under MS Dhoni, then Virat Kohli continued. Ajinkya Rahane may have led India to the win, but Kohli’s contribution was equal. Ever since Virat Kohli took charge, we saw a different Indian team. A side that’s fearless. We tend to overanalyse Kohli and knit pick aspects of his personality that we don’t like, but here is Kohli, the complete package. He is what he is, and ever since he took charge, the team has transformed."
In our times India bowlers didn’t get adequate batting practice: Vivek Razdan
Elaborating further on the process, Vivek Razdan narrated an incident from his playing days and drew parallels to the current coaching methods.
At 20, with just two First-Class games under his belt, Vivek Razdan, then a budding pace-bowling all-rounder, was picked for the tour of Pakistan in the 1989-90 season. It was a series best-remembered for Sachin Tendulkar’s debut.
He had hoped for some valuable batting practice, but that wasn’t the trend.
“In our times, the bowlers didn’t get batting practice. During India’s tour of Pakistan in 1989, Our first Test was in Karachi. Before a practice session, I carried my entire kitbag. A senior asked me why I was carrying such a big kitbag. I replied that it has my bat, pad, guards and helmet. He told me that as a bowler, all I need are my spikes. There would be so many days that we wouldn’t practice any batting at all and still managed to get some runs in the big games. Coaches from that era were like – batsmen to bat and bowlers to bowl."
With many key players unavailable for the Brisbane Test, India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour knew that the lower-order would have to contribute if the side were to stand a chance against Australia.
“Things have changed. Before the Brisbane Test, Vikram Rathour ensured every bowler would get adequate batting practice for at least half an hour. See the results, India’s lower order bailed the side out with Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur leading the charge."
Vivek Razdan's full interview
First-time batters in Test cricket, Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur, added 123 runs for the seventh wicket in India’s first innings of the Brisbane Test, which proved to play a decisive factor in the outcome.