Remember former West Indies pacer Winston Benjamin who had recently urged Sachin Tendulkar to help out with some cricket equipment for youngsters at his cricket academy? At the time of asking for help, he had also revealed that former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin had helped him out with some equipment. After reaching out to Tendulkar, Benjamin ended up receiving help from sports brand PUMA. In a conversation with NDTV, Benjamin spoke about the help he received and he also spoke about why he cannot label Virat Kohli as the greatest Indian captain.
“Yes, definitely it was a bit surprising because I was not expecting PUMA. Maybe one or two of the cricket fanatics or the cricket pundits who are in the sport will come out and help. But they really surprised me, it was a big boost for us to see them help a small academy like us,” Benjamin told NDTV.
“It transcends borders and it shows there are good people around and people have interest in youngsters. I would like to thank them for this kind gesture. We will look to make the best use of the equipment we have gotten so far,” he added.
Talking about Mohammed Azharuddin and the help he provided, Benjamin who played 21 Tests and 85 ODIs for West Indies, said: “Well, I met Mohammed Azharuddin in 1986, and straight away, we became good friends. He called me a few months back, I said to him that I am trying to get some cricket equipment for my academy and he straight away said okay, no problem. He immediately sent me stuff and I am grateful for that.”
“I wish Azharuddin all the best. So far, there have been a couple of persons who have chipped in and we are very grateful to the people who have helped us. The guys are more focused now. We have come a long way,” he added.
Virat Kohli is often viewed as one of the greatest Indian captains. The right-handed batter had decided to leave Test captaincy after the series defeat against South Africa this year. Before that, he had left the T20I captaincy last year, and then he was removed as the ODI captain as well.
Kohli is the most successful Test captain, if one goes by numbers, as under his leadership the Indian side ended up winning 40 Tests out of the 68, he led in.
Talking about Kohli, Benjamin said: “I don’t think it would be fair to say that he is the greatest Indian captain. I would like to see Kohli more focused on his batting and just playing. I think he is a superb cricketer. He is going to be one of the greatest Indian batters that I have ever come across. I think Indian cricketers have improved a lot over the years with players like Jasprit Bumrah leading the charge with the ball.”
“There is numerous amount of young talent within the Indian setup. I don’t think I can say he is the greatest captain. You have had some captains before him who were a little better tactically. I can tell you that he is one of the greatest batters,” he added.
Lastly, talking about West Indies’ chances at the upcoming T20 World Cup, Benjamin said: “It’s T20 and anybody can win on the given day but when you look at cricket overall and the requirement, West Indies are not consistent, I am hoping that we do well but I don’t think it’s a very good opportunity for them to try their best, but I don’t think they are going to be in the top four.”
Topics mentioned in this article