Zimbabwe in India, Feb-Mar 2002
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India won by 101 runs
India 333/6 (50 ov)
Zimbabwe 232 (42.1/48 ov)

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A Priceless hunger for learning
Staff Reporter - 24 February 2002

This is Zimbabwean left-arm spinner Raymond Price’s first trip to India. After being mauled in the tour opener by the Board President’s XI batsmen, Price has bounced back admirably in the first Test against India at Nagpur. Bowling a disciplined line and length, Price was able to win the praise of the master, Sachin Tendulkar, himself.

A cricketer who wants to learn and grow with every match, the Zimbabwean left-arm spinner feels that this tour of India would help his learning process enormously. In an exclusive interview to CricInfo, Price talked on a range of topics - from his first coach to the present tour of India.

"I learnt cricket from my dad, Tim Price. He was an off-spinner and a professional golfer," Price said. His father’s lessons proved invaluable during his formative years and helped turn the younger Price into a useful spinner.

The Zimbabwe spinner, though, admits that he has still has a lot to learn about the art and is eagerly awaiting the day when he can meet Bishen Singh Bedi. "Though I've never seen Bedi bowl on the field, his television recordings have more than impressed me. He is the person I would like to meet and learn from, when we are in Delhi for the second Test," Price said. Daniel Vettori, the left-arm spinner from New Zealand, is another man he admires and hopes to emulate.

With Paul Strang quitting the game and Brian Murphy nursing an injury, Price had to shoulder the responsibilities of being Zimbabwe’s lone specialist spinner. And he measured up to the task during the Indian innings, claiming four of the five wickets to fall by the end of the third day’s play.

Sachin Tendulkar, however, seemed to have mastered him and the rest of the Zimbabwean attack. Expressing his views on the world's best batsman, Price said, "Sachin batted well…As he usually does."

Recollecting his first encounter with Tendulkar in a warm-up game in Zimbabwe, Price said, "I was just 18. Since then I've always admired this man. A batsman of the highest order indeed."

Moving on to the Indian bowlers, Price felt Kumble was the best of the lot. "He is fast and God knows what he his. But what I know is he's dangerous," he admitted candidly.

Despite being a spinner primarily, Price takes his batting seriously. His ninth wicket stand with Travis Friend amply demonstrated the 24-year-old’s fighting spirit. Hit on the chest by a Zaheer Khan beamer on Friday, Price recovered to score 18 valuable runs before a sad misunderstanding with Friend cost him his wicket. The Zimbabwean spinner was quick to stress the fact that he bore no grudge against Zaheer for bowling what was an unintentional delivery. "Zaheer has been a good friend of mine for quite some time. These things do happen at times of play," he said.

Talking about Sunday’s play, Price observed that his team would have to strive to dismiss India early if they are to entertain any hopes of saving the match. The biggest obstacle in their way is Sachin Tendulkar. As a gutsy competitor, Price would be hoping to do his bit in helping his team achieve their objective.

© CricInfo


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