Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has revealed that only Ajinkya Rahane takes his tips on batting from the current crop of Indian players.
Gavaskar said earlier players like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid used to take his advice on batting but the same is not the case with the current Team India members.
“No batsman comes to me for advice now. Earlier, players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman would often speak to me on tours but I guess this generation is different and they have different coaches and batting coaches. Only Ajinkya Rahane comes to me sometimes,” Gavaskar told Aaj Tak.
After having joined Aaj Tak & India Today as a cricket expert, Gavaskar, had on Sunday on the same platform criticised the Virat Kohli-led Indian team for not going into the ongoing five-Test series against England with enough preparation.
Sunil Gavaskar unhappy with Shikhar Dhawan’s approach to Test cricket
Gavaskar, one of the greatest openers India have ever had, is also unhappy with opener Shikhar Dhawan’s approach in the longer format. The Delhi lad returned with scores of 26 and 13 in the first Test at Birmingham.
“Shikhar simply does not want to change his game,” the 69-year-old fumed.
“He believes in playing in the same manner which has brought him success till now. You can still get away with such shots in one-day cricket because there aren’t many slips and the push or the edge goes for a boundary through the slip cordon. But in Tests, such shots will only result in a fall of wicket. Till a player makes a mental adjustment, he will continue to struggle against the red ball in overseas condition,” said India’s original little master.
Sunil Gavaskar Exclusive: ‘India should have played more warm-up games in England’
Gavaskar has also come down hard on those experts who are comparing Hardik Pandya with the legendary Kapil Dev. “Kapil Dev should not be compared with anyone. He is not just a once-in-generation player but a once-in-a century cricketer just like Sir Don Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar. We should not compare him with anyone,” Gavaskar reacted angrily on a show with Aaj Tak when reminded about the comparisons made between the duo since the Indian team’s tour of Sri Lanka last year.
With Cheteshwar Pujara looking a certainty in India’s XI for the second Test which starts at the Lord’s Thursday, Gavaskar hinted that the team management had made a mistake by dropping him for the series opener. “I will play one more batsman at Lord’s in the form of [Cheteshwar] Pujara. He has the technique and patience required for a Test match. Whose place he’ll take will depend on the pitch. If the wicket isn’t that green then I will play him in place of Umesh Yadav and stay with Hardik Pandya.”
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India, chasing 194 for a win, lost the Edgbaston Test by 31 runs after getting all out for 162 on the fourth day. The former India captain opined that even the hosts would’ve struggled had they batted last.
“For India to win the Lord’s Test, they need to win the toss and elect to bat first. Look what had happened in the third Test at Johannesburg last year when South Africa batting last against India collapsed before reaching 200. Most of the teams are struggling to chase even a total anywhere near 200 in the final innings. England too might have struggled if they were chasing in place of India in the first Test at Edgbaston.”