http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/maga...ry/346426.html


Some good excerpts:
In the 1990s there was the feeling that India were preparing tracks that were designed to break in three days. During Mohammad Azharuddin's time they played on rank turners with three spinners.
I see no reason why we should worry about it. If a Test match wicket spins, there is talk that it's a bad wicket. If the first ball of a Test match seams and swings, then it is a good wicket. If the first ball of a Test match goes at a good pace and the batsman hits it for a four, it's a good wicket. What's wrong if the first ball spins? It's a challenge. A spinner is also a bowler.

You have played 18 years of international cricket. As a spinner, how do you think things have changed? Has it become increasingly tough to survive?
The wickets are a lot truer. Everywhere in the world there has been a change in the way wickets are prepared in Test cricket. You almost invariably have 100 for no loss or for one wicket at lunch on the first day of a Test. 40 to 60 runs of tough cricket for two wickets would have been great ten or 15 years ago. But now it's 100 for no loss at lunch and the batsmen are really going smoothly, and you try and build pressure after that. That's really difficult. I have felt that it has become tougher for spinners over the years. The wickets have changed even in India.

But if we need to compete outside India we need faster wickets at home, and our batsmen need to get used to playing on such wickets.

No, turning wickets in the sense that there is bounce and pace for the fast bowlers as well. If you bend your back you'll get bounce and pace off the wicket, and it spins as well. It's an overall development for anyone. There should be wickets that suit the spinners over a period of time, instead of dead tracks where even on the fourth day you are struggling to get people out.