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Spot and groom young bowlers to regain World Cup glory: Dilip Vengsarkar

Mumbai: Providing a roadmap to win the next World Cup, scheduled in England in 2019, ex-India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar on Monday suggested that cricket authorities should spot a handful of young pace and spin bowlers and make them play in county cricket during the off season here.

"It's important to spot at least six young fast bowlers/spinners, preferably of under-23 age-group, who are on the fringe of playing for India to spend at least three months bowling in county cricket (that's India's off-season) every year. They will learn much faster there," he told PTI when asked to draw a roadmap for the two-time champions to regain World Cup glory.

"They could be monitored by India's bowling coach, for he would know their development through the county coach as well. England is the best place for the young cricketers to learn and improve," the ex-chief national selector said.

India, who won the 2011 World Cup under Mahendra Singh Dhoni, lost to eventual champions Australia in the semi- finals of the just-concluded edition.

"As for Dhoni, he has been outstanding throughout his career and I am sure he would love to be a part of that World Cup in 2019, of course only if his form, fitness and motivational levels permit," the 116-Test veteran said when asked whether the 33-year-old Ranchi stalwart can be part of this endeavour to win back the Cup.

"Most of the players from the present team would be in their thirties in 2019. They would be seasoned players with loads of experience. However, every champion team has a good blend of youth and experience," he remarked over how many of the current team members could go on till 2019.

The 58-year-old former middle order mainstay, a member of the victorious 1983 World Cup squad led by Kapil Dev, also emphasised on the importance of bench strength and said a way should be found to build up a comprehensive programme and groom young talent like in Australia.

"Well, (as) the first and foremost (step) it's important to build the bench strength. And, that can be done with good, solid, competitive programmes for the under-19s and A teams. That's where one can get the talent which could be groomed to play at the highest level," said Vengsarkar, who scored three back-to-back Test tons at Lord's in his career.

"For example, the Australians have always been one of the top two teams in world cricket since they have been playing the game. Right through the first World Cup in 1975, where they lost very narrowly to the West Indies, they have always been a force to reckon with. They may lose but they will come back stronger and hungrier to get back at you.

"They have classic, world class infrastructure with wickets that have the bounce, a solid system that produces top class players year after year. As a result, there is an easy transition of A team/first class players into the international team. The Australian Cricket Academy churns out talent and groom them so there is a very little or negligible void when a senior cricketer retires," he said.

The former cricketer said India had oodles of talent at the junior level but lack the system in nurturing them to become top international cricketers.

"Compared to Australia, cricket is the most popular game in India and as such India has young cricketers with oodles of talent but more often they are not nurtured to become international players. That's where the talent loses out.

"They look good at the under 14s and 16s level but by the time they need to show their worth around 18 years of age, they are confused either with wrong coaching methods which are inflicted on them or peer pressure," he added. 

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