'Looking for only slim and trim guys' - Gavaskar critical of selectors after Sarfaraz Khan snub
Sunil Gavaskar believes the Indian selectors have sent a wrong message by looking past the in-form Sarfaraz Khan for the first two Tests of the forthcoming series against Australia.
The batting legend reckons Chetan Sharma & company seem to be implying that only "slim and trim guys" will be picked to play for India and that bulky-looking players like Sarfaraz have no spot.
Gavaskar said if that is the case the selectors may as well go to a "fashion show" than domestic first-class games and find "models", not cricketers. Dismayed by the Sarfaraz snub, the former skipper turned commentator argued for the run-scoring to be given the edge over physical appearance and fitness.
Notably, Sarfaraz Khan couldn't find a spot in the squad despite undergoing an unprecedented run-making streak, averaging above 80 after 36 matches, dominating the past three editions of the Ranji Trophy for Mumbai.
Gavaskar slams selectors for Sarfaraz's non-selection
"If you are looking for only slim and trim guys, then might as well go to a fashion show and find some other models and give a bat and ball in their hands and then improve them. That’s not the way cricket goes," Gavaskar told India Today.
"You have cricketers in all shapes and sizes. Don’t go by the size, go by the scores or wickets. He is not staying off the field when he scores a hundred. He is back on the field again. So, all that tells you is that the man is fit."
Gavaskar made his comments after Sarfaraz Khan expressed his disappointment over the selectors for a persistent drought of that elusive maiden India call-up and made a statement by top-scoring with a century in Mumbai's league round fixture in Delhi.
India's batting great insisted run-making should be the top-most criteria for selection and not passing the yo-yo test, which has sparked its own fair share of debates over time since its introduction in the set-up five years back.
"How can you score runs? I think at the end of the day if you are unfit, you aren’t gonna score hundreds. Cricket fitness is the most important thing," Gavaskar stressed.
"Yo-Yo Test can’t be the only criterion. You got to make sure that the man is cricket fit as well. If the person, whoever it is, is cricket fit, then I don’t think it should be any matter."