Dubai: Former Indian captain Chandu Borde, who has donned many caps as chairman of national selection committee and as manager of Team India, feels a hot Virat Kohli and a cool Mahendra Singh Dhoni combination is a must to win the oncoming World Cup.
Speaking to Gulf News after inaugurating the Chandu Borde Global Cricket Academy at the Global Indian International School, Borde said: “Dhoni is a plus man for the team and his experience will help the Indian team greatly. Dhoni is one who will not get rattled by the situation and his calm and cool approach will help captain Kohli immensely. Kohli does not have that cool quality and he gets easily excited but his desire to want to win matches will inspire all the players and make the players be on their toes. So the coolness from Dhoni plus the hot approach from Kohli, if it get combined, will produce a good result.”
When asked about the favourites for the World Cup, Borde — who has played key roles in India’s many Test victories between 1958 and 1969 — said: “Since the World Cup is being held in England where the atmosphere changes quickly, the players need to acclimatise to those conditions. India is one of the contenders for the World Cup but they need to play more matches and practice there. The Indian team has got everything needed to win matches like pacers, spinners and good batsmen but England, playing in England conditions, can be formidable.
“New Zealand that beat Australia and Sri Lanka looks good. Australians are doing well and with return of Steve Smith and David Warner, they will be strong. Pakistan looks strong too and the fact that they are playing a series in England before the World Cup will help them. Beware of the Afghanistan team whose bowlers are doing very well in the ongoing Indian Premier League.”
Borde then went on talk about the role of IPL, as to whether it has helped or harmed players. “IPL has changed the concept of Test cricket altogether,” he said. “The thinking of the players have also changed a lot. Technically, the foundation remains the same but the improvisation is so much that I have wondered how the players have managed it. Today everyone practice towards improvisation. The knuckleball deliveries amazed me. When we played, we were told to pitch up the ball but now you are supposed to pitch short. Today, an off-spinner who does not change his line and length and mixes it up with many other things, cannot survive. For example, off-spinner (Ravichandran) Ashwin is not the same off-spinner he used to be in the beginning and he has done so much improvisation due to the IPL. During my playing days, fast bowlers were to bowl a good line and length today they are adding variety all the time with yorkers, bouncers and slower ones.”
Borde candidly admitted that cricket is today an industry. “There is good money in cricket,” he said. “I feel cricket is a huge industry as not only players but all people, even those who make the cricket equipment are making money. Today one can make a career out of cricket. During my young days, parents never encouraged us to play the game but today parents encourage and even come to the practice nets. Parents want their child, be it girl or boy, to play the game.”
So what is his advice to budding cricketers? “Whatever you do, concentrate on it. Love the game and have the desire to do well. To do well, do not neglect your health because health plays a big part. If you are hundred per cent fit then you can get a lot of things and your confidence and reflexes will develop and you can move freely and enjoy the life too.”
Global Indian International School (GIIS) unveiled the Chandu Borde Cricket academy in their Dubai and Abu Dhabi campuses. This academy will be managed by Maxtalent Global Sports. Former Indian captain Chandu Borde inaugurated the academy at the school premises.
Amol Vaidya, Senior Director of Operations, GIIS said: “We are delighted to kick-start the Chandu Borde Cricket Academy in both our campuses in association with Maxtalent Global Sports. They share our belief of providing young minds with the best opportunities and exposure under expert guidance in order to equip them better for the future. We believe that this association will bear fruit in the form of developing special cricketing talent in our children and we are thrilled to see them play and learn.”
The inauguration was followed by a friendly match between the GIIS team and Maxtalent Global Sports squad.