Melbourne (The Telegraph): Former Australia captain Mark Taylor, a triple centurion in Test cricket, spoke to The Telegraph at the MCG on Tuesday.
Taylor, incidentally, is one of the directors of Cricket Australia.
The following are excerpts:
His thoughts on the India openers
VIRENDER SEHWAG: He's a terrific player... Anyone who enjoys the game will enjoy watching Sehwag, it's as simple as that. I had Michael Slater in my time and, now, you have Sehwag... We also had Matthew Hayden and, in the ODIs, Adam Gilchrist... The attacking type of an opener... The dashing ones... Don't forget Sehwag has two triple hundreds in Test cricket... It takes a lot to get a triple, but what's surprising is that he's the only Indian with a 300... I've seen Sehwag score 195 in less than a day at the MCG, eight years ago... He's some opener, getting his runs quickly.
GAUTAM GAMBHIR: He's a really good foil for Sehwag... He's more the classical type, an accumulator... Gambhir brings that lovely contrast... Sehwag isn't a great technician, but Gambhir's technique is more sound. However, as he's not Sehwag, he has to work harder for his runs... I don't know what his mind space is, but a look at his career suggests periods when he's been very comfortable and periods when he hasn't been... He hasn't got a hundred for almost two years now (not since January 2010)... The left-right
combination, though, has still been working for India.
Thoughts on the Australia openers
DAVID WARNER: Look, he's going to be a very good player for a number of years... He came into the national team as a T20 player, but he's much better than that. People are now getting to see that... Yes, Warner likes to hit the ball, like Sehwag... Likes to put bat on ball, but he also has a pretty good technique. He's not a guy who puts a foot down the wicket and slogs... In a way, Warner is a package... An explosive batsman, a good catcher and thrower and a useful leg-spin bowler. He brings a lot to the table.
ED COWAN: Six months ago, if you'd said that Warner and Cowan would be opening the batting in the Boxing Day Test, people would have laughed. Yet that has happened, because Australia haven't been playing well... Cowan moved from Sydney (New South Wales) to Hobart (Tasmania) in 2009-10, where the wickets have something more in them, have more grass, and he has got runs... He's honed his skills there and has really improved... Cowan is like an old-fashioned opener, somewhat like me, and gets the bowlers to bowl to him instead of chasing the ball... In the context of the opening combination, he's Gambhir if Warner is Sehwag. The bowlers will have to get Cowan out, he won't get out himself.
His message to young openers
This is a wonderful time, with three formats... If you're good, then you could play in all three... Tests, ODIs and T20... If you're a traditional opener, like I was, then you need to find a way to expand your game.
On middle-order batsmen being promoted as openers
I don't have an issue there. I believe if you're a good player, then you're a good player anywhere in the order.
Lastly, if there's an ideal temperament where openers are concerned
(Laughs) No such thing... For an opener, there's no ideal temperament... It varies and it should vary... Slater and I were different in nature and approached the game differently... Different characters, but it was fine.