Bishen Singh Bedi, one of Indian cricket's spin wizards of yesteryear,
was always outspoken about his views on the game. His tenure as
manager of the team that toured New Zealand in early 1990 saw the
blossoming of Sachin Tendulkar. he currently, he is coach of the
In the city for the ongoing Ranji tie with Mumbai, Bedi refuses
to draw himself too much into the obvious discussion of comparing
'Delhi Dasher' Virender Sehwag with 'Bombay Bomber' Sachin Tendulkar.
The mannerisms and big scores are there for all to see, so are the
fiery strokes and that famous back-foot punch to the covers. But
Virender is Sehwag and Sachin is Tendulkar. That puts the matter
The soft-spoken former India captain says that similar mannerisms
are different from delivering the goods. "Virender is a very
promising lad. But he has to go a long way to go to catch up with
Sachin. A very long way, so let's not get carried away. You know
what I mean," he says. "Let's not put pressure on Veeru.
Comparison is very unfair." That puts an end to the debate.
Bedi believes the Indian team is gelling well of late but is concerned
about the amount of cricket being played. "The adjustments
the boys are doing — travelling, playing, not getting enough
rest — is praiseworthy. It has to be commended. "However,
the forthcoming tour of New Zealand is going to be a fair trail.
From there to the World Cup without much of a break. That's what
bothers me. There's no respite and we don't quite have a terribly
good bench strength either."
And how does he feel India will perform at the World Cup in South
Africa? "Your guess is as good as mine," he laughs. Bedi
has high praise for the youngsters, but his highest regard is for
Mr Dependable, Rahul Dravid. "Our best, most outstanding student
of the game is Dravid. In order to be a good cricketer, you have
to be a good student of the game and in order to be a good administrator,
you have to be a good servant of the game. Unfortunately, we have
too many bosses who boss over cricket. In my mind, there is only
one boss — cricket itself."