Kapil Dev: 'Batsmen scoring 400 is possible in ODIs'

Former India and World Cup winning captain says Indian cricket commands respect from all quarters and the quality reflects in the results which is a big positive for the game.

Former India skipper Kapil Dev during a promotional event in Udaipur.   -  Shanker Chakravarty

Speaking on the sidelines of the Wonder Cement Saath7 Cricket Mahotsav Season 2 finale in Udaipur, which saw players from three states - Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh - take part, former India captain Kapil Dev praised the organisers for coming up with an event of such magnitude. 

"I don't know how much the players have benefitted from this tournament but when kids watch a match on T.V., they want to play as well and when one gets a chance, it feels nice," Kapil said. 

"That said, organizing an event of this scale is easier said than done. It's not easy to get approximately 50,000 players under one roof; then you've to arrange for umpires, maintain records – it is a tough ask," he added. 

Asked what set this unique seven-a-side event apart, the World Cup-winning captain said, "I don't think there's a tournament anywhere in the world where nearly 50,000 boys and girls take part and display their skills on the 22-yards. 

"When you integrate the village and the city, it enhances the image of the state. I think an endeavour like this will spur greater opportunities in the times to come."

Read: India unbeaten in 16 series at home across formats

'Mindset has changed'

At a time when teams are scoring in excess of 200 in T20 matches and batsmen are tearing bowlers apart at strike-rates that leave viewers gasping for breath, Kapil noted, "The biggest change today is in the mindset of the cricketers. Scoring a hundred off 35 balls was unheard of back in the day. Indian cricket commands respect from all quarters and the quality reflects the results – that's a big positive."

Quadruple-century possible in ODIs

With India opener, Rohit Sharma hammering his third ODI triple hundred in the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka, will a day come when individual batters will breach the magical mark of 300 in limited-overs cricket?

"Why not?," Kapil quipped, adding, "Why only triple hundred, someday, you might see someone score 400 in ODI cricket because players have changed gears to suit the format. In the 1980s, teams used to make 280 at the end of day's play and today, they're racking up those runs in just 20 overs."

With India set to embark on a tough Test and limited-overs series in South Africa, Kapil is confident the team will end its Test series-win drought in the rainbow nation.

"Of course", he said adding, "India will do well overseas. We've got a good side and it will only get better with experience."

Also read: Best chance to win a Test series in South Africa, says Rahane

'Can't compare players'

India captain Virat Kohli, who has 52 international hundreds under his belt, has for long been touted as Sachin Tendulkar's heir apparent. However, Kapil reckons that it is like comparing apples and oranges.

Also read: Kohli can break all batting records, believes Waqar

"Look, you can't compare the players. You can't say one is better than the other or vice-versa," he said. 

"If the next generation of stars isn't better than its predecessors, then the game won't move forward," he signed off.