Mumbai: Opening batsman Gautam Gambhir has lamented the lack of patience among young Indian batsmen, in the wake of India's back-to-back overseas whitewashes in Tests in England and Australia, and says the solution is to give under-19 players early exposure to bouncy tracks.
Gambhir suggested that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) organise adequate overseas tours for U-19 teams, to give younger players the required exposure, which is essential for the team's successful rebuilding process in the wake of Rahul Dravid's retirement and the imminent departure of other senior batsmen.
"I think the way forward for the Indian cricket team is to reassess all the mistakes and learn from them. The youngsters from U-19 need to be exposed to more tours of England and Australia, where they get to play on fast bouncy tracks, something we aren't used to in the sub-continent," Gambhir told Mid Day.
Gambhir admitted that young Indian batsmen haven't shown the required application to bat long hours in Tests. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side was frequently bowled out inside two sessions in recent overseas tours. "I think the application of body and mind is more important in Test cricket than in any other form of the game. It's important that younger players prove themselves in being able to last out the longer form. I think once these players get the required exposure to tougher conditions, we'll be able to fill in our Test team requirements," the 30-year-old opener said.
Gambhir felt it was important for a young batsman to correct his technique at university level. "While school cricket is all about learning the basics where most take it as a hobby, college cricket is very important as you are moulded into a player who can face any kind of situation. You get to the opportunity to play and compete with a diverse bunch of players from different backgrounds, something you wouldn't get to in school cricket. If school cricket is about learning the right techniques, I think campus cricket is all about gaining mental toughness and physical fitness to perform in any situation," he said.
"I think the quality of cricket played at university level is good. With the help of mentors, talented cricketers will get the opportunity to hone their skills and maybe we can see them break into the Indian cricket team."
"The ideals someone like Dravid instills in the team are practice, perseverance and patience. Most youngsters who are either on the brink of playing for the national team or have recently started playing lack the patience. We need to help develop these qualities in college-level players - to not be impatient and throw away their wicket in a cricket match."
India's U-19 team will play a four-nation series - also involving Australia, England and New Zealand - in Townsville, Australia, starting next week. The U-19 World Cup will be held in Queensland this August.