Explaining the difference between India and Pakistan, former off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq said India are benefitting from frequent A tours to England and Australia whereas Pakistan are suffering as there is still not enough cricket at home.
“Pakistan cricket has suffered a lot because of no international cricket at home but India has done the right thing by investing on its under-19 and A team tours. I remember I was working in England for like four summers and once in Australia and every year I saw some Indian team touring those countries,” Saqlain said in an interview as quoted by agency.
A young Indian side minus top stars Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka.
Pakistan, on the other hand, lost the third T20I to England to concede the series 2-1. Pakistan were whitewashed by a second-string Indian side in the ODIs.
Saqlain also felt that teams were not relying on specialist off-break bowlers in white-ball formats because of an increasing trend of using wrist spinners.
“It is an ongoing trend in white-ball formats that teams want to have maximum wrist spinners like India has Chahal and Yadav, Australia has Adam Zampa and Stephenson, England has Adil Rashid etc…And this is discouraging players from taking up the art of off-spin bowling.”
He noted that it was only in Test cricket mainly that some countries still employed specialist off-spinners successfully like Nathan Lyon was a regular for Australia and R Ashwin for India while Moeen Ali has done his bit for England.
Saqlain, 44, who has worked as spin consultant/coach with different teams including England, West Indies, New Zealand urged countries to have budgets to have regular permanent spin coaches with their teams.
“Their is also a need to have permanent spin coaches at domestic level and the junior levels.” Saqlain had no doubt that spinners would have a vital role to play in the upcoming World T20 Cup in UAE and Oman provided the conditions remained dry.
“Role of spinners in the subcontinent and UAE is always vital but there is no dew factor because a lot of matches are held under lights.
“If there is no dew factor they will dominate in dry conditions but to do this they must be class bowlers with a very good set of skills. It is all about bowlers who try to get away with just bowling economically and those who try to take wickets as well.” Saqlain said that a spin bowler loses his bite, drifts in dew conditions and it becomes difficult to also grip the ball.