'It made little sense' - Sunil Gavaskar lashes out at Indian Team management for decision regarding Kohli, Rohit
In a recent column for Sportstar, cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar expressed concerns over the Indian cricket team's preparation strategies for the upcoming Test series against England. Gavaskar's remarks came in the wake of the Indian team's decision to participate in the T20I series against Afghanistan rather than in the domestic Ranji Trophy.
The Ranji Trophy, known for its rigorous format, is seen as an ideal platform for players to fine-tune their skills ahead of crucial Test series. This perspective gains weight especially in the context of India's upcoming five-match Test series against England, starting on January 25. However, key players, including Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Shubman Gill, were involved in the T20I series against Afghanistan, which India clinched with a 3-0 victory.
Gavaskar's critique comes from a place of concern, particularly after the Indian batters' underwhelming performance in the previous Test series against South Africa.
"Would it have been better for some Indian batters to have played a couple of Ranji Trophy games to tune themselves for the Test series against England?" Gavaskar pondered in his column.
He noted that apart from KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, who showed glimpses of brilliance, the rest of the batters had a series to forget in South Africa.
The decision to bring back senior players Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli into the T20I setup after their hiatus since the semi-final loss in the 2022 T20 World Cup also raised eyebrows. Gavaskar pointedly criticized this move, especially after observing Rohit's dismissals in the series against Afghanistan.
He remarked, "Bringing back Rohit Sharma and Kohli for the three-match series against Afghanistan made little sense," emphasizing the need for a more thought-out approach to team selection and preparation.
The debate intensifies as Team India's performance in the T20I series did not convincingly address the gaps in their batting lineup, a concern that might carry over to the Test format. Gavaskar's emphasis on utilizing domestic platforms like the Ranji Trophy to regain form and confidence before such an important series underlines the disconnect between the players' current form and the team's strategic choices.
As India prepares to face England in the Test series, the choices made in the lead-up to this crucial encounter will be scrutinized. The success of the team in the 2023-25 World Test Championship cycle hinges on how well the players adapt and perform, especially in the Test format. Gavaskar's insights not only reflect a deep understanding of the game but also a concern for the Indian team's readiness to face high-caliber teams like England in the Test arena. The coming weeks will indeed be a litmus test for the Men in Blue, as the cricket world watches with keen interest.