Cricket: India will take 10 years to rebuild: Intikhab Alam


January 4, 2013

Former Indian and Pakistani criketeers felicitated at Eden Gardens, Kolkatta

January 4, 2013

Former Indian and Pakistani criketeers felicitated at Eden Gardens, Kolkatta

KOLKATA: Intikhab Alam was overcome by nostalgia when he stepped on to the Eden Gardens on Thursday. "I vividly remember the time when I played here as a member of the touring Pakistan team in 1960. That was a very interesting Test match. We had lost six quick wickets for 120-odd runs before Mushtaq Mohammad and myself put on a 100-run partnership. It all seems like yesterday," said the former Pakistan captain, who was among 19 former Indian and Pakistani greats to have been felicitated at the halfway stage of the second ODI on Thursday.

The leg-spinning allrounder, who also took four wickets in that Test, still relishes the way he had castled star Indian batsman Abbas Ali Baig in the drawn match. 'Inty,' as he is fondly called, was all praise for young opener Nasir Jamshed, who on Thursday scored his second straight century of the ongoing ODI series against India.

"Jamshed is an exceptional talent. He was injury-prone earlier, but I am really very pleased with the way he has come on. It is good to see him fulfill expectations," Alam said.

Pakistan's first ODI captain felt India would take some time to rebuild the side after the retirement of greats like Sachin Tendulkar (ODI), Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. "If you lose three-four top class players, it takes time to rebuild the team. You just can't take a magic wand and get things right. It will take about 10 years to find good players," he stated. "The selectors need to be patient and have the vision to get the right replacements in place. I think India will bounce back soon," he added.

The former Pakistan coach described Sachin Tendulkar as one of India's finest ambassadors. "Sachin is a player who has done wonderfully well. The way he has carried himself all through his career makes him one of the finest ambassadors of Indian sport," Intikhab said.

"When I saw him bat for the first time, in Peshawar, I knew right then that he would become a great cricketer," Intikhab recalled about the 16-year-old Sachin, who made his international debut during that 1989 tour of Pakistan.

What actually surprised Intikhab the most about Tendulkar was his level of fitness. "Sachin has stayed very fit. That's the reason he could be at his best. A cricketer knows best when to retire and he has done that (from ODIs) at the right time," Intikhab said.

Courtesy: TOI


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