India’s success due to focus on red-ball cricket, ex-cricketers’ contribution: Akmal

Former Pakistan wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal said that Indian cricket is going through a golden period because the country never “compromised on their red-ball cricket” and also because former cricketers are keenly involved with the development of the game.

India have made it to the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final with series wins against England and Australia, among others and will meet the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand in the summit clash at Southampton from June 18-22.

“India have not compromised on their red-ball cricket. At school level, India have two-day, three-day cricket. Today, they have a pool of 50 players because Indian cricket has given a lot of importance to Test cricket.

“Among all the legends of Indian cricket, except MS Dhoni, no one has retired after playing white-ball cricket. All the others played a Test match as their last one. That gives us a great idea of their vision: how to build a team, how to bring in players into the Indian set-up,” Akmal said in his YouTube channel.

Akmal also praised India’s domestic structure, which he said was also one of the reasons for the team’s success.

“Their white-ball or List A players, when they enter the international scene, they have already played 40 to 50 games. Take the example of Suryakumar Yadav, who recently made his India debut after a long wait. Most of these players have a minimum domestic experience of four to five years. When they come into the Indian team, they are already mature enough.”

He also lauded the contribution of former cricketers such as Rahul Dravid and leg-spinner Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman, saying their contribution was a key aspect to India’s success.

“The mindset of Indian cricket is commendable. Look at all the Indian legends from the 90s — from Rahul Dravid to Anil Kumble to VVS Laxman — all of them are involved in Indian cricket in some way or the other. That is helping the new generation. And this not just for IPL; they keep an eye on domestic cricket as well, be it Virender Sehwag or Yuvraj Singh. They (India) haven’t changed their (brand of) cricket, but they have elevated their existing level,” Akmal added.