Sunil Gavaskar feels that India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni ran “short of ideas” but at the same time wouldn’t like to be too critical of him ahead of the ICC World Cricket World Cup starting in two weeks’ time.
Asked why India’s most successful bowler Stuart Binny (3/33 in 8 overs) wasn’t given an opportunity to complete his full quota of 10 overs, Gavaskar said,”You have to ask Dhoni that. It did look as if there was shortage of ideas but I wouldn’t like to be too critical about India’s performance. I would take these matches (tri-series) as practice games,” Gavaskar told NDTV.
The former India captain is optimistic that India would do well at the mega-event although a lot of hard work needs to be done.
“I am an optimist. Yes I am disappointed with the performance but not dejected,” he said.
Gavaskar however made it clear that Binny has earned his place in the playing XI with his performances and there is no reason why the Karnataka player shouldn’t be featuring in the team that plays Pakistan at Adelaide on February 15.
“He (Binny) has done enough to earn his place in the team. Only thing is that while batting, he can perhaps apply his mind a bit. If you go for the lofted hits in these big Australian grounds, you will have an odd connection for a six but but 9 out of 10 times, you will be caught in the deep. In Australia, you need to play the cut and pull, the horizontal bat shots,” explained the legendary opener.
Gavaskar also supported the team management’s decision to shuffle Virat Kohli’s batting slot between 3 and 4.
“Look it is a tactical decision. When the team gets off to a flying start, Kohli will come in at No 3 but when India lose an early wicket and the ball is doing a bit, you need to protect him as he is cog around which the team will revolve,” reasoned Gavaskar.
Gavaskar also supported Dhoni’s theory about switching off from the game for some time before the warm-up games start.
“I think it makes a lot of sense to lock up the kitbags and go away for some time although I don’t know where they would get away. It will help them as it has been a long tour and they haven’t won anything,” he concluded.