Severely critical of the Indian cricket team’s poor show against England in the third Test, former captain Sunil Gavaskar said the old habit of getting complacent after a big win seems to have affected the side during the lost match.
India went down by 266 runs in the Southampton Test after the morale-lifting triumph in the second Test at Lord’s.
“We might have helped England get back the momentum. Having beaten them at their headquarter in Lord’s, we had them absolutely demoralised. But I don’t know what we did in the five intervening days after that. We were sloppy on the first morning. We dropped Cook and let him get away. We need to look at our slip fielding and so many other things. There were so many misfields,” the legendary opener told ‘NDTV’ from Southampton.
“It used to happen to Indian teams since 1930’s but this Indian team is more professional. They should not be affected by complacency and should address the issues quickly.”
“Zero resistance” is the word that Gavaskar used to explain India’s abject surrender on the fifth and final day of the third Test while they had six wickets in hand.
“To lose a match like this showed zero resistance whatsoever. Apart from Ajinkya Rahane, who applied himself, none of the other batsmen could stay at the wicket.
“I must also mention that Jimmy Anderson bowled superb deliveries and the best batsmen in the world could have got out. But the disappointing aspect was no resistance,” said Gavaskar.
On what made Rahane look a better batsmen than his colleagues, Gavaskar said, “It’s the way he was playing. He was not trying to reach for the ball. He waited for the ball to come onto the bat and played with a straight bat.
At the same time he was quick to seize on to any scoring opportunity.”
“Some of the other Indian batsmen played with hard hands and tried to reach the deliveries. I believe two people could have saved this Test match. One was Murali Vijay for the kind of form he is in and Cheteshwar Pujara, who is a long innings man.”
Gavaskar was absolutely livid with the manner in which Vijay got run out in the second innings.
“That was such a waste of a wicket. There was no run in it and even Vijay knew that it would be a tight run. He was in such good form,” the veteran lamented.
He, however, said that Moeen Ali is a far better bowler than many thought that he actually was.
“He is not a bad spinner but if you are expecting him to be like Graeme Swann, then you are mistaken. Swann was an outstanding bowler, who had the ability to bowl on any surface due to his flight and loop.
“But Moeen is a different kind of bowler but he also doesn’t give you too many bad deliveries to score. Having said that, this Indian team has played better spinners than Moeen Ali,” feels Gavaskar.
Gavaskar felt batting has been a major cause of concern.
“They (Indian team) need to understand that batting has let them down. Had the catches been taken, the bowling would have risen to the occasion. England have utilised the conditions well.
Anderson and Broad know the length and areas to bowl. They mixed it up well using the occasional short ball to their advantage.”
Gavaskar was also a bit unhappy that Jimmy Anderson, who is on the verge of facing an ICC sanction after his alleged altercation with Ravindra Jadeja, has not learnt a lesson.
“It’s sad that it’s still continuing (on Anderson having a go at Rahane on the final day). I would ideally like match referees to tell the players before the start of the match that all I want is your bat and ball to do the talking.
“Their should be a first and a second warning before the concerned player is sent off. This chatting thing has come in
cricket in the past 20 years and it needs to be eradicated if we want to again call cricket a ‘Gentleman’s Game’,” he concluded.