Jaipur: Most stylish left-hand batsman of his era David Gower discussed his illustrious cricketing career, test-cricket, the Ashes, IPL’s impact, Virat Kohli and how the game has changed over the years. English Cricket Legend Gower recently in a conversation on SportsTiger’s show “Off-the-Field.”
The former English Captain seemed mighty impressed by the Indian Captain Virat Kohli and his love for test cricket. Gower said, “Virat Kohli as the leading player of the world calling test cricket as the toughest and most important form is great PR for the format.” As you know that, Gower featured for the England in 117 Test matches and 114 One Day Internationals (ODI) scoring 8,231 and 3170 runs respectively.
Commentator Gower also picked his best Test XI from the current day players and said, “Ben Stokes and Virat Kohli will be the instant picks for him and there are no two ways about it.” He also picked Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith as a part of the team. He also said. “If a current day spinner is to be chosen it would be between Ravichandran Ashwin or Nathan Lyon.”
He also said, “If I have to pick a Captain for the team it will surely be Virat Kohli, what I like about Virat apart from his talent is his passion and absolute drive. Cricket is still a game where you can be a brilliant individual within the team but too much of individuality can also be harmful but Virat is an extraordinary individual contributing to the team.”
Speaking about the IPL, Gower went on to say, “I think overall IPL has been very good for cricketers both for the homegrown and the international players. Ever since the games have got shorter from the time of the invention of ODI, fielding has become incredible. I think T20 has changed a lot since the first days of IPL when IPL was taking some of the great players from around the world at the end of their career. But now, one wants the young players. I feel it is a very good training ground for players.”
He though opined that IPL isn’t going to make you a great test player but the best players in IPL make a huge amount of money. He said, “Kieron Pollard is one of the world’s best T20 players but he knows as well as I do that he cannot play test cricket, he isn’t good enough to play test cricket.”
On being asked on SportsTiger’s Off-the-Field about his experience of playing in India and Australia against a packed house, Gower went down the memory lane and said, “In 1980 it was the Jubilee test match in Mumbai and in those days stadiums for Test matches used to be full. You would have 50,000 people shouting for India, urging India on. I have always said to people whether you’re going to India or Melbourne it’s a different experience, for instance the traditional Boxing Day test match in Melbourne which is normally when the Ashes are played in Australia, it’ll be 80-90,000 people and of those 79, 990 people were on Australia’s side so you’re playing to that.”
“The test is this if you walk out in any of those cricket grounds away from home and you know the crowd is on the side of the opposition if you react well to that if you think it as a great challenge and that I am going to show them then you’re doing the right job.” He added.
Gower who has captained England in the ashes and has featured in eight Ashes series commented on the legacy of the series saying, “It is one of the series which has an illustrious history. For an English or Australian cricketer, it means the history of Don Bradman, Keith Miller, Len Hutton, Wally Hammond and W.G. Grace. The first time I was in the dressing room at the Sydney cricket ground, I looked around thinking that there have been some great players who have been in these exact same rooms. The Ashes has that absolute history about it.”
“When I stood at the Oval in 1985 as a winning captain it was an absolutely amazing moment and when I stood there as a losing captain four years later it was a very desolate moment. That is the kind of contrast you see because of the history of the series.” He ended.