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Wearing shoes with rubber sole: Azharuddin’s mantra to thrive on rank turners

Mohammed Azharuddin, a former Indian captain and one of the finest ever players of spin bowling, suggested that wearing shoes with rubber soles could be a better option than the ones having spikes.

Wearing shoes with rubber soles, assured footwork and proper shot-selection are the keys to success for batsmen on a “rank turner” like the Motera pitch, feels Mohammed Azharuddin, a former India captain and one of the finest players of spin.

Azharuddin made the interesting observation in a series of tweets after India crushed England inside two days in the third Test.

The 58-year-old suggested that wearing shoes with rubber soles could be a better option than the ones having spikes.

“It makes little sense to wear spikes when batting. Rubber soles don’t hamper ability of batsmen. I have seen some amazing Test knocks being played on tough surfaces by batsmen who wore shoes with rubber soles,” Azharuddin tweeted.

“The argument that batsmen can slip when running between wickets is countered by the fact that in Wimbledon, all tennis players wear shoes with rubber soles.

“And the ones that come to mind are not just Indians like Sunil Gavaskar Mohinder Amarnath and Dilip Vengsarkar but also many a visiting batsman like Sir Vivian Richards, Mike Gatting Allan Border, Clive Lloyd and several others.”

Azharuddin, who played 99 Tests and 334 ODIs between 1985 and 2000, was disappointed with the batsmen’s abject surrender.

“It was disappointing to watch the batsmen come a cropper in Ahmedabad Test. The key to batting on such dry tracks and rank turners is shot-selection and assured footwork,”

Only two batsmen — one each from both sides — could score a half century as 28 wickets fell to the spinners on a Motera pitch that many players felt was not ideal for a Test match.

The likes of Sunil Gavaskar, however, credited the spinners rather than blaming the pitch.

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