India’s nearly-man Ranadeb Bose has called it a day from first-class cricket. He is now associated with Bangladesh’s NCA as coach. Excerpts from an interview to DNA..
How would you look back on your career?
I’m happy I did reasonably well for myself. I made a living from cricket. Everybody has a regret in life — mine is that I didn’t play a Test. I wouldn’t have been hurt had I bowled badly, got hammered, and then not selected. But I didn’t even get a chance to fail.
Let’s rewind to India’s 2007 tour of England. You got a five-for against Sri Lanka ‘A’. It was thought you’d play the next Test at the Oval. Was that the closest you came to playing for the country?
One bowler on that tour wasn’t playing well. After this game at Leicester, I was given the new ball at the nets, an indication that I might play. Certainly, the vibes were there. The morning before the Test, Rahul Dravid told me India didn’t want to change the combination that had won at Trent Bridge.
You ever had hope of an India cap after that?
I was still bowling well in domestic cricket. I thought I’d be considered for the next series against Pakistan. Then India travelled to Australia. I knew they would choose five pacers. I was only 27 then. When I wasn’t named in the squad, I knew that was it and I’d never get a look in again.
In 2009, India won a rare Test series in New Zealand. Precisely the conditions for your kind of bowling...
Absolutely. The selectors were watching a zonal game at the CCI. The squad was yet to be announced. We (East Zone) were playing the West. I got four wickets: Wasim Jaffer, Ajinkya Rahane, Parthiv Patel and Kedar Jadhav. I fancied my chance again. After the match I asked one of the selectors why I had been missing out. He said they were only considering bowlers who could bowl above 140kph.
If that was the thought process, I’d nothing to say. Eventually, two bowlers slower than me were chosen for the tour. By the way, not many bowlers from Bengal have taken five wickets consistently against Mumbai and West Zone.
You never bowled a no-ball. Share your trade secret...
It is an illegal ball. You are not supposed to bowl it in the first place. A good batter doesn’t want to get out even at practice. But bowlers don’t bother to check no-balls at the nets. My coach Gopal Bose would tell me do at the nets what you would in a match. I never bowled at the nets to give practice to batters. I bowled because I was practising myself.
I wanted to get them out. And to do that I had to bowl a legal delivery.
When did you realise you had to move on?
I was 34 and playing on would have been blocking someone’s place. And the state selectors didn’t consider me for Bengal’s ODI side last year. I realised too they were looking ahead. Bengal attack is in good hands. Ashok Dinda, Shami Ahmed and Sourav Sarkar have tremendous future. Bengal only need a good coach and they’ll be right on track.