Former Australia batsman Dean Jones praised the the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s work over the past decade in spite of the clamour surrounding its vice-like grip over the sport. The Indian Premier League, which has attracted its fair share of detractors, also earned a glowing tribute from the cricketer-turned-analyst.
The BCCI’s recent decision to not play a day-night Test in Australia later this year has drawn a lot of criticism, but Jones looked at the bright side of the power shift from the traditional powerhouses of the sport to India.
“The game’s pretty good at the moment,” Jones was quoted as saying by DNA. “England and Australia have had their go for 100 years. India’s taken over and have got a strong hold in ICC and that’s fine.”
The 57-year-old also threw his weight behind the multi-million-dollar contracts that modern-day players take home from the IPL. “Players [are] getting paid more money, people watching TV, IPL is just absolutely killer. So where is the bad part of this?”
He added, “The ICC has got to run the game, but I sit back and say, well, if it wasn’t for what India’s done in the last 10 years, I wonder where we would be? Wonder where the players would be because they wouldn’t be getting the same money [anywhere] and the world’s 80% cricket turnover comes from this great country. See, it’s all very well too.”
Jones thinks the game has been “outstanding” over the last 10 years but for a couple of teething problems. “If it wasn’t for Indian cricket the players wouldn’t earn the money they are earning now,” he said.
Following the IPL, India travel to England where they will play three One-day Internationals, as many Twenty20 Internationals and five Tests across a gruelling three-month tour. For India to come good, Jones opined that their batting order has to exorcise their ghosts from the 2014 tour.
“The Indian team is very good. They have got a bowling attack that can bowl in any conditions. It’s up to the batsmen if they can get through. It wasn’t just the swinging ball, but it was Moeen Ali who was knocking you guys out [during the last tour], an off spinner! So it was like, what the hell was going on there? That needs to be picked up a little bit. So, I am expecting India to beat England.”
Virat, Ashwin key in Australia
With Australia’s batting mainstays Steve Smith and David Warner serving one-year bans for their involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal, Jones tipped India as favourites when they tour Australia later this year as well.
“Virat’s my favourite player in the world at the moment and he played the innings of the summer when he was out in Adelaide last time when he got a hundred in the last match. He should belt us up in all honesty. We don’t have Smith, we don’t have Warner, so we will get some flat tracks around.”
Jones expects off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to play a key role, despite his less than flattering numbers in Australia. “Ashwin is going to play a big role now because conditions will actually suit these guys, whereas in the past it hasn’t. Ashwin will be going to be a big player if they want to win the series. Umesh Yadav and Co, too,” Jones added.