Akmal also felt that most of the Indian legends, except for MS Dhoni, retired playing Test cricket, which showcases the team’s vision towards the traditional form of the sport.
Akmal in a video, which was recently released on his YouTube channel said: “India have not compromised on their red-ball cricket. At school level, India have two-day, three-day cricket. Today, they have a pool of 50 players because Indian cricket has given a lot of importance to Test cricket.”
“Among all the legends of Indian cricket, except MS Dhoni, no one has retired after playing white-ball cricket. All the others played a Test match as their last one. That gives us a great idea of their vision: how to build a team, how to bring in players into the Indian set-up,” the 39-year-old added.
Dhoni shocked the cricketing world when he hung his boots from Test cricket in December 2014 after India’s draw against Australia to focus more on limited-over cricket.
After India’s semi-final exit from the ICC World Cup in 2019, Dhoni kept himself away from the sport, and while cricket took a sudden halt due to COVID-19 pandemic, the legendary wicketkeeper-batsman logged out from international cricket with an emotional post on Instagram.
Akmal also took the example of Suryakumar Yadav, who made his international debut in India’s last international fixture against England at home, and went on to explain how red-ball cricket helped the Mumbai Indians batsman to make an impact right from the word go.
“Their white-ball or List A players, when they enter the international scene, they have already played 40 to 50 games. Take the example of Suryakumar Yadav, who recently made his India debut after a long wait. Most of these players have a minimum domestic experience of four to five years. When they come into the Indian team, they are already mature enough.”
Akmal, who will return to action in the Pakistan Super League while featuring for Peshawar Zalmi, also hailed former India crickter’s contribution towards the development of the sport.
“The mindset of Indian cricket is commendable. Look at all the Indian legends from the 90s – from Rahul Dravid to Anil Kumble to VVS Laxman – all of them are involved in Indian cricket in some way or the other. That is helping the new generation. And this not just for IPL; they keep an eye on domestic cricket as well, be it Virender Sehwag or Yuvraj Singh. They (India) haven’t changed their (brand of) cricket, but they have elevated their existing level,” said the Pakistan cricketer.