Auckland: He was definitely New Zealand’s best bowler in the shorter format of the game during his playing days. Known as the ‘postman’ who always delivered — because of his knack to pick wickets and stem the flow of runs — Gavin Larsen played 121 ODIs, including three World Cups and is now the head of cricket operations for the showpiece event to be held in Australia and New Zealand after 23 years.
Speaking to Mail Today, Larsen said that while the greats have retired, players like Virat Kohli will help Indian cricket grow from strength to strength in the coming time.
“You had some great players — Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and my personal favourite VVS Laxman. With their retirement, it was the end of an era. But India is moving forward and have a fine crop of young cricketers. With the likes of Virat Kohli in the team, Indian cricket will grow from strength to strength,” he said.
Commenting on his memories of the 1992 World Cup, Larsen said: “Mixed, amazing memories of the 1992 World Cup. We had a great run. We won seven games in a row which was unexpected — a major surprise in our country. It was a surprise when we won two games in a row, let alone seven.”
Larsen feels that acclimatisation has been an issue with the Indian team and is one of the reasons why MS Dhoni’s boys have found the going tough so far.
“Indians are brought up on pitches which are fundamentally different than what you get presented with here. These wickets are really good for the bowlers who can bend their back and get a bit of bounce. It is more about adapting,” he said.
While the Indians have struggled, Larsen feels that the reason for New Zealand’s success in the shorter format is due to their ability to produce all-rounders.
“I think we have a couple of up and coming all-rounders and that helps. Corey Anderson is one. He has got a record that I am not sure anyone can take away from him. Here in New Zealand we have got some exciting talent on our doorstep,” he signed off.