It is good to see that these days some lesser known names like VVS Laxman have started speaking. Until now, hardly one would have seen Laxman coming in front of the television sets and throwing out his opinion. neither has there been any ad that is being promoted by Laxman in his decade long international career, that consisted mostly of test cricket, with a little bit of one day and no T20. even Anil Kumble was hardly seen making it to ads if not for one or two. But, that is a different issue altogether. But, Laxman's appearance would have made a lot eye brows to raise including mine.
It was only after his comment upon India not having enough bench strength when it came to spinners. Someone like Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly of the decade old times and that followed by Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Dhoni and Sehwag have been found frequently throwing up their expressions regarding whatever major development happens in Indian cricket. Anyway, coming to the statement given by Laxman that India lacks bench strength when it comes to spinners, isn't Laxman an off-spinner by profession? Why didn't he take to spin bowling, be it part time no matter, like Sehwag & Yuvraj have done? This is what happens when someone who takes to something which he has never done until now.
And, if Laxman's take is given a consideration, India do have some upcoming spinners in Piyush Chawla, Ravindra Jadeja, Pragyan Ohja who have been decent of not extraordinary with the ball. Of course, one cannot expect someone like Anil Kumble to hit the playing XI in the near future. Moreover, Harbhajan Singh has almost 8 years to go on from now onwards, taking into account his age which is 29 at present. Ooops! I forgot to mention the name of Amit Mishra. So, the tally of spinners now stands at 5. And no team on earth has so far played more than 3 spinners maximum.
And a close look at the Indian batting bench strength right now would be just cool. Excluding the top 3 viz Laxman, Sachin & Dravid, the next row consists of Sehwag alone and Dhoni only to a little extent, for a wicketkeeper is quintessential for a team and Dhoni is a better man than Dinesh Karthik when it comes to both keeping wickets and batting. Yuvraj Singh is yet to make a place for himself in test cricket. Of course, there is Gautam Gambhir who is able to promise some good knocks with the bat, which takes the tally of batsmen to just 2 if the batting bench strength is considered.
And when it comes to the fast bowlers' on the cards, except Zaheer Khan, no one else has been able to make a mark. Not even Ishanth Sharma in the recent past. Ishanth's last splendid performance was in the Border-Gavaskar trophy 2008 where he was awarded the man of the series. R P Singh and Sreesanth hardly make it to the playing XI , with Sreesanth battling injuries more than 90% of the time. And Praveen Kumar is more of a slow bowler than to consider him even in the list of a medium pace bowler. Usually, batsmen speak for batsmen and bowlers for bowlers. But, the reason behind Laxman speaking for spin bowlers, when his area i.e batting is also facing a shortage more than the spin department can be best known to Laxman.