'You've got to show some loyalty towards Indian cricket' - Sunil Gavaskar reacts to Rohit Sharma's 'hunger' remark

Gavaskar reiterated Rohit's views on the crucial role of 'hunger' in Test cricket, sparking discussions in the cricket community.

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Rohit Sharma & Sunil Gavaskar.
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Rohit Sharma & Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto & Visionhaus/Getty Images)

In the aftermath of India's victorious fourth Test against England in Ranchi, former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar has thrown his weight behind India's current skipper, Rohit Sharma. Gavaskar resonated with Rohit's sentiments concerning the indispensable element of 'hunger' for success in Test cricket. The duo's alignment on this crucial aspect has sparked discussions within the cricketing fraternity.

“Test cricket is the toughest format. And if you want success and want to excel in this tough format, then you need that hunger. It is very important. We will give opportunity only to players who have that hunger. Jinko bhookh nahi hai, unko dekhke hi pata chal jaata hai (You come to know easily the players who don't have that hunger, or players who don't want to stay here and play this format. We come to know that after merely looking at them,” Rohit said during the post-match press conference.

The India veteran supported Sharma's perspective, highlighting the obligation of players to display loyalty towards the country. He agreed with the Indian captain's assertion that players aspiring to participate in Test cricket at the international level should be evaluated based on their commitment, considering the success, fame, and recognition they have garnered in Indian cricket.

“He's (Rohit) absolutely right. The ones who want to play Test cricket, you look at them. I've been saying this for years. The players are what they are because of Indian cricket. The stage of life and career they are at, is all because of Indian cricket. The money, fame and recognition that they have got is because of Indian cricket. So you've got to show some loyalty towards Indian cricket.

Also Read: Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan to be removed from BCCI's central contracts for missing Ranji Trophy matches

“And if you don't show that for whatever reasons and say 'I won't play, won't play that' Rohit is absolutely right in saying the ones who have the hunger, the ones who are willing to put the effort, will be given more opportunities going ahead. If this is the attitude of the selectors, then it will be good for Indian cricket. We've seen many players pick and choose, this shouldn't happen,” Gavaskar said on Sports Tak.

Maybe they have decided not to play Test cricket for India: Gavaskar

While the former Indian skipper did not name any players, Gavaskar indirectly addressed the absence of centrally contracted Indian cricketers, Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer, from the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2024.

“Maybe they have decided not to play Test cricket for India. They don't have the ability, they don't have the 'hunger' like Rohit said. So which form of domestic cricket they didn't play? The Ranji Trophy. It is the longer format with red balls. So you can't do anything,” he added.

Gavaskar proposed a change in schedule, urging the BCCI to start the Ranji season in October and finish it by December. He suggested organizing white-ball tournaments afterwards, providing practice for players participating in the IPL, and emphasizing more on Test cricket.

“I would request BCCI to start the Ranji season in October and finish it in December. Then you hold the white-ball tournaments like the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s. This will also give practice to the players playing in the IPL. From December to February India play Test matches either at home or abroad, so if the Ranji Trophy is hosted before that then the young players will also be ready,” the 74-year-old added.

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