Bedi lends a helping hand to Aussies spinners

Australia have managed to get spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi share a few tricks of the trade with their rookie tweakers ahead of the 3rd Test against India.

updated: October 26, 2008 10:33 IST
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New Delhi:

Australia may have failed in their bid to rope in Manoj Prabhakar to help their pacers master reverse swing but they managed to get spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi share a few tricks of the trade with their rookie tweakers ahead of the third Test against India.

Bedi, in a pink T-shirt and shorts, appeared in the nets this morning and interacted with both Jason Krejza and Cameron White.

"We discussed cricketing things only. Australian manager (Steve Bernard) requested me to come and have a chat with them and that's why I'm here," Bedi said after the net session.

Bedi admitted Shane Warne's retirement has created a huge void in Australian cricket even though he refused to underestimate either White or Krejza.

"Definitely Warne has left a huge void behind him. Let's see how Australia copes up with that. But to be honest, you can never underestimate any Australian player," Bedi said.

Asked about his assessment of both Krejza and White, the former India captain said, "Krejza is a good off-spinner and so is White. But I guess White is too quick for a leggie," said the former left-arm spinner.

"I didn't teach them anything today, in fact it's not possible to teach something in 40 minutes. We only discussed spin, flight and guiles," said Bedi, who spent most of his time with Krejza, telling the rookie turned how to grip the ball and release it.

Since they landed here, the Australian team have been extended whatever facilities they wanted, starting right from their pre-series stay in Jaipur where all sorts of tracks were rolled out to help them prepare.

Trailing the series 0-1 and set to face the Indian tweakers at the traditionally spinner-friendly Ferozeshah Kotla in the third Test, Bedi's inputs would prove handy for the visitors.

Asked if India were being too generous as a host, Bedi said, "Let's not make an issue out of it."

On India's dilemma on whether to accommodate regular skipper Anil Kumble or continue with in-form rookie Amit Mishra, Bedi said, "I must say it's a good dilemma to have."

The former player didn't have much to say about Mishra and said Kumble was his favourite.

The Australian camp, meanwhile, praised Bedi for agreeing to help out the visitors and team manager Steve Bernard said the Indian never shied away from lending a helping hand.

"It's always helpful when someone like him shares his experience. Whenever I'm the manager of the side, I request him to come and help out and he has always volunteered," Bernard said.

Opener Matthew Hayden also acknowledged Bedi's contribution and said he personally learnt a great deal from the Indian, whom he dubbed "a good friend to the Australian cricket team".

"Bishan and I go a long time back at the MRF cricket academy where I gained a lot of knowledge from him, who has incredible knowledge of the game and spin bowling and he is asset to me really to teach me about how field placings were done in the middle," Hayden gushed.

"He has been a great role model for me over the years and a good friend to the Australian cricket team and a good friend to international cricket community," Hayden added.