Toss may prove to be crucial in SA says Bob Simpson

first_imgWorld No. 1 India will have to prove that they are the kings of Test match cricket in the high-profile three-match series against No. 2 South Africa beginning in Centurion on Thursday, feels former Australia captain Bob Simpson.And he feels that winning tosses may prove crucial. “It’s going to be a tough series. It could well depend on the toss of the coin because of the fact that the wickets over there are different. Sometimes to win the toss and have a bowl is good,” Simpson, here to participate in a World Cricket Summit, told Mail Today.”It will be a very tough competition. India now has got the number one spot and they are going to prove that they are the number one on any wickets [they play on]. So, anyway, that’s going to be the most interesting point,” said the Australia’s batting mainstay of 1960s and 1970s.Simpson, an opening batsman of repute, feels the traditional Test match cricket will survive, even though the crowd patronage has lessened over the last few years, coinciding with the growth in popularity of Twenty20 cricket.Alarmed, the International Cricket Council (ICC) will soon add a ‘context’ to the Test matches – also to ODIs – to make this format attractive, though Simpson is not too enthusiastic about the move.”It’s very, very difficult. I will be a little bit dubious on how it’s all set up and how it is done because you really need a series of matches before you can judge [the winner],” he wondered. “Australia is still very supportive of Test cricket and indeed England is. India, unfortunately, has lost its desire for it. That may well be because it’s playing too many limited overs matches.”advertisementSimpson, 74, feels close contests between two teams would again generate interest among spectators for Test matches. “I think you’ve got to have two competitive teams. You’ve got to have close finishes. You’ve got to have home content to get people in the stadium. Test cricket has been ‘dying’ for about 140 years; it is still surviving,” he said with a smile.Sachin Tendulkar has suggested that Indian cricket administrators could invite students to watch Test matches so that when they grow up, they take to Test cricket. “I suppose. Parents will have to bring kids over. It could, but it is not bad to the point that, I think, you’ve got to market the game and you’ve got to make sure that the two teams you’ve got can play well. In the end, what will tell out is the quality of their cricket,” he reasoned.Simpson felt India would be the natural favourites in the upcoming World Cup, to be staged in south Asia. “India are playing so well, they must naturally be the favourites, and probably England second,” he felt.But he pointed out that MS Dhoni’s side would feel the home pressure. “No home team has ever won the World Cup, so it’s not an advantageous position to be in. When you go into the World Cup, it’s different; it’s pressure. Sometimes the expectations for home teams can really weigh heavily on them,” he pointed out.last_img

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