Kapil Dev Says Split Captaincy Cannot Work In Indian Cricket Culture


“An MNC cannot have two CEOs”, said former India skipper Kapil Dev on Friday, making his stance lucid on the raging debate over if the national cricket team will have to go for split captaincy. Ever since Rohit Sharma guided Mumbai Indians to a fifth IPL title, a debate on split captaincy has gathered momentum with several former players suggesting that the opener be handed the leadership of a minimum of the T20 side. Virat Kohli currently leads India in all three formats.

“In our culture it isn’t going to happen that way. In one company you’re making two CEOs? No. Whether Kohli is going to play T20s and he’s good enough, let him be there. Despite the fact that I want to see other people coming out. But it’s difficult,” said Kapil at the HT Leadership Summit which used to be held practically.

“Our 80 per cent, 70 per cent of the team across formats is same team. They do not like captains having different theory. It should bring more differences between the players who look up to the captain.

“You probably have two captains, players might think he’s going to be my captain in Tests. I can not annoy him.”

The 61-year-old recently underwent an angioplasty after suffering a heart attack. Talking approximately the art of fast bowling, the 1983 World Cup-winning former skipper said fast bowlers opting for too many variations saddens him.

“I’m really not happy with fast bowlers (at the present time). The first ball cannot be cross seam. Players in IPL realised that swing is more important than pace. Sandeep (Sharma), who bowled 120 kph, used to be tougher because he used to be moving the ball,” he explained.

“Bowlers have to comprehend it’s not the pace, it is the swing. They will have to memorize but are running absent from art. T Natarajan used to be my hero of IPL – young boy used to be fearless and bowling such a lot of yorkers,” the legendary all-rounder said referring to the two SunRisers Hyderabad pacers.

Kapil feels variations are a waste whether one doesn’t know the way to swing the ball.

“Retain your wrist straight, hold the ball seam-up. Whenever the ball moves Tests matches turn out to be important. Wasim, Botham, Willis, Hadlee. McGrath, look how good he used to be,” he said.

“The art of swing bowling will have to come back. Learning the knuckle ball and all is fine. Whether you do not know how to swing the ball, everything is waste.”

On the other hand, the battery of pacers that India possesses now pleases Kapil immensely.

“Look at Shami, Bumrah. As a cricketer, it gives me a large number of happiness to say that today we depend on our fast bowlers. Our bowlers are capable of taking 20 wickets in a match. We’ve had spinners – Kumble, Harbhajan, but today no country want to say ‘give them bouncy wickets’.”

He also appealed to the ICC to verify Test cricket doesn’t die in the age of T20 cricket.

“Whether it (Test cricket) dies, I would say ICC have done the worst object… Let us not let it die… Yes cricket has changed. People around the globe only wish to play IPL, BBL and tournaments like that… I would say IPL has provided us strength. What was once county cricket, each player used to play there (in England) but today IPL is giving the same benefit to us as the players are coming and playing in India,” said the great all-rounder.

“…Don’t just consider T20 or IPL, you need to look after first class cricket, Tests and ODIs.


“Yes, money making factor is there but we will have to not omit our tradition. Tennis as an example, we still have Wimbledon played on grass,” said Kapil.

He also added that whoever wins the upcoming India-Australia series, the team will have to go on to the win the World Test Championship.

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