England vs India: Sunil Gavaskar bats for inclusion of extra batsman in low-scoring series

Gavaskar patted Indian captain Virat Kohli for his brilliant show with the bat in the first Test against England.

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar predicted the ongoing Test series between India and England could be a low-scoring affair unless there are belters of pitches on offer and batted for inclusion of an extra batsman in the Indian side. The legendary opening batsman also had an advice or two for the visitors who struggled to reach a moderate target of 194 in the first Test in Birmingham and lost the Test by 31 runs to concede a 0-1 lead.

Gavaskar patted Indian captain Virat Kohli for his brilliant show with the bat in the first Test match (he hit 149 and 51 in the two innings) and said it was a magnificent act of “mental adjustment” by the batsman which helped India get closer to England though eventually they lost it.

The 69-year-old former player wrote in his column for Times of India, “Great players make the mental adjustment quicker than the others and Kohli kept making it virtually every delivery he faced. Despite playing and missing at the start when the ball was moving considerably, he gritted it out, shortening his back lift and reducing his bat speed. As the movement lessened, he began to unfurl the range of shots that he has in his armoury. Unfortunately, others didn’t make the mental change needed.”

Known for his rock-solid temperament and technique against some of the world’s fiercest bowling attacks in his playing days, Gavaskar spoke on India’s Shikhar Dhawan problem. He said if the news of the left-handed opener getting dropped is true, then it doesn’t surprise him. He questioned the logic in picking Dhawan in the squad at all if he commands little faith. Gavaskar, however, also blamed Dhawan for his plight, saying the latter throws his wicket away to an “indiscreet” shot when in good touch.

The clamour grew for bringing back Cheteshwar Pujara, known to be India’s Test specialist, in place of Dhawan could could manage just 26 and 13 in the first Test.