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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Cricket

Out of Tests, not out of Archer's range
PTI
New Delhi, March 17, 2013
First Published: 09:54 IST(17/3/2013)
Last Updated: 23:33 IST(17/3/2013)

Noted British writer Lord Jeffrey Archer is in awe of the way Virender Sehwag bats and considers him as the most exciting batsman ever other than the West Indies legend Sir Viv Richards.

A close follower of Indian cricket, he says it's a treat to watch Sehwag plundering runs and punishing bowlers.

"Sehwag is probably the most exciting batsman other than Viv Richards that I have seen in my life," Archer told PTI.

On Sehwag's exclusion from the Test team, Archer, who is in India on a multi-city tour for the special launch of the third book of his popular "The Clifton Chronicles", says it's a very "interesting" decision.

"He was dropped...which is a very interesting decision. He is very up and down. He is very mercurial. He can be his own man."

The playwright feels that Indian cricket is too much influenced by Twenty20 cricket, by the IPL and too much of money is involved.

"Cricket is a Test match with VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid fighting all day to save the game. I was shocked to see so less people in the stadium (during the Mohali Test). The ground was empty. It is unbelievable. When it's a T20 match it's absolutely packed," he said.

Archer, who admires late Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble, said, "The Nawab of Pataudi was a friend. We were at Oxford together. I am a great admirer of his.

"Rahul Dravid is such a stylist batsman. Anil Kumble is a great captain and behaved with such dignity over the Ponting-Harbhajan thing. And of course, the great Sachin is the great Sachin."

Indian cricketers have often drawn praises from Archer, who describe them as the best ambassadors of the sport in the world.


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