Former Indian captain speaks up July 17, 2007

Youngsters need to take more responsibility - Kapil Dev

Cricinfo staff

Kapil Dev believes that Zaheer Khan's county experience will prove useful to India on their tour of England © Getty Images

Kapil Dev, the former Indian captain, has said that it is now up to the younger players in the side to take the lead and win games for the team. Kapil felt that as the future of Indian cricket, players like Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Zaheer Khan have to take up more responsibility if India are to have long-term success.

"As long as Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid are there, they should be the anchor, the platform to ensure that nothing should go wrong," Kapil told The Daily Telegraph. "England is always a tough tour and this series will be a real test for India after the World Cup."

Kapil said that India were going through a rough period post World Cup. "They needed to get their heads together and sort things out," he said. "But the issue of who will coach the side has dragged on too long." The Indian board is yet to appoint a coach and the team is touring England with Chandu Borde, the former Indian batsman, as the team manager.

Zaheer's county experience, Kapil said, will prove useful to India, who have no other fast bowler in the squad with a knowledge of English conditions. "He [Zaheer] knows more about English pitches and English conditions than any of the other seamers. If he can also take responsibility it will be lovely."

In an endorsement of the Indian Cricket League (ICL), a potential rival to the Indian board, Kapil said that young Indian players would benefit a lot if they got a chance to play some of the best international players in the world. He also said that the problem at the moment was that the leading Indian players didn't play enough domestic cricket.

The ICL, which has signed up Kapil, Kiran More, Sandeep Patil, Dean Jones, and Tony Greig, will consist of 20-overs-per-side matches. Each side will have two top Indian and four foreign players. The prize money for the tournament, which will be telecast on Zee Sports, includes $1 million for the winners.