Monday, 18 October 2021

Sunil Gavaskar on Ajinkya Rahane He is a threat

Sunil Gavaskar on Ajinkya Rahane He is a threat

After losing at the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand at the start of this England tour, captain Virat Kohli suggested a need to bring in 'the right people with the right mindset that the Test team needed to rebuilt soon.

The Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar spoke to TOI on transition Two days ahead of the first Test against England.

What do you make of Virat Kohli's view that the team is looking at an alteration soon?

If you are saying that you will regulate the team in the middle of the tour, it's tough. But talking about alteration sometimes is good motivation. If you say you are looking at growth, certain players may be willing to try harder to guarantee they are not part of the alteration left out.

Rahane and Pujara seem to overlay the heat. Is there anything they need to do separately?
It's not fair on these two players. They have put their hearts and bodies on the line for Indian cricket for years, particularly the last six months. In my view, they started a whispering campaign against Rahane and Pujara. Tell me who else has scored regularly in the previous six-eight months.

The real target is Rahane. Pujara's name has been bandied about to ensure that this whisper campaign has not thought as if only directed at Rahane. I would tell all these people to believe Rahane as an asset and not a threat. It's happening the other way around. You know what I mean by that. He is not a threat to those who have started this campaign. He scored a hundred right after India was all out for 36 (in Australia). He gave excellent momentum at Gabba chase as well. Rahane got a half-century on pitches where the ball was turning in India against England. In the WTC final, he was our top scorer.

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There's been a lot of words about scoring rates.

In a game that lasts five days, the only thing that matters is that the winning team has scored more than the losing side. It does not matter at what rate the runs come. We have games finishing in three days, and some games have no results after five days. The scoring rate depends on what the situation is. If you have a massive total on board, you may ask the batsmen to up the ante.

The Indian team has dwelled on the need to keep scoring in harsh situations.

When conditions are damp, overcast, and swinging, then you have to give yourself that much more time in the middle. It would help if you played the bowling, not the bowler. I am yet to see anybody continuously hitting out of difficulty. The player has made it to the international level playing a certain way. It's a recipe for disaster. You have to believe in people's methods.

How do you make of the stability of the team when Hardik Pandya's not around?

Hardik Pandya's been irreplaceable when he bowls. But it would not be that till he starts it. It would help if you didn't look at anybody else. I am pretty positive you will be able to find some seam-bowling all-rounders. You can prepare someone like Deepak Chahar. We should have prepared Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He would never have been as devastating a batsman as Hardik, but you need to play a holding inning at Test match level.

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