India’s 3-0 whitewash of South Africa in the four-match Test series has surprised former captain Sunil Gavaskar even though he feels that the Proteas were incapable of playing on Indian pitches.
“I expected India to win the Test series but not 3-0. But the boys have achieved that and it shows their character, considering the team lost the T20 and one-day series,” Gavaskar told ‘NDTV’.
Gavaskar reiterated that the excessive focus on pitches used in the series was not needed.
“When India lose a series overseas, does anyone say that they lost because the pitch was fast and bouncy? South Africa lost the series because their batsmen were incapable to play on Indian pitches. As simple as that,” he said.
Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin ended the series with 31 wickets to earn his fifth man of the series award in a 32-Test career, equalling the record of Sachin Tendulkar (200 Tests) and Virender Sehwag (104 Tests). The offie’s stupendous success doesn’t surprise Gavaskar.
“It doesn’t surprise me one bit. He has improved tremendously in the last one year. He has adapted and adjusted well and doesn’t try to bowl six different balls in an over. Not to forget his contribution as a batsman. I would like to see him batting at number six, ahead of Ravindra Jadeja and Wriddhiman Saha,” said the batting great.
He also heaped praise on speedster Umesh Yadav, whose three-wicket burst got India closer to victory on the fifth and final day of the Delhi Test that the hosts eventually won by 337 runs.
“He has sharpened up on his pace. And the good thing is that he swings the ball consistently, without losing pace. He always had a good outswinger but now he has developed a potent inswinger too. India will have a good overseas attack with Ishant Sharma and a fit Mohammed Shami,” Gavaskar added.