Utility of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri as captain and coach must be assessed if India fail to win the next two Tests against Australia, suggested batting legend Sunil Gavaskar, who is baffled by the “selection blunders” committed by the team management.
India lost the Perth Test by 146 runs to allow the hosts level the four-match series 1-1. India went in with four specialist pacers while Australia picked spinner Nathan Lyon, who eventually turned out to be the difference between the two sides.
Gavaskar was not impressed with the selection choices made by the team management.
“We have been seeing this – the selection blunders that have been committed since the tour of South Africa. It has cost the team because it has lost matches which could’ve been won if the proper selection had been made,” Gavaskar said.
“They have to look at the combination of their team, look at the hole that needs to be plugged and pick the men to. If they do that then they can certainly win the next two matches but if they don’t, and that too against this Australian team which does not have Steve Smith or David Warner, then the selectors need to think whether we are getting any benefit from this lot – the captain, coach and support staff,” Gavaskar told Aaj Tak.
The former opener questioned the logic for picking a jumbo squad.
“I want to find out that who has authorised 19 players to go because the next question is why not three more? The BCCI is a very rich body, it can afford to send even 40 people down there. However, I feel that an India cap, an Indian blazer has to be made a lot more valuable. … by carrying players and taking 19 players, I do believe that the selection committee has not handled their responsibility well,” he said.
“A lot of those players can come back and play domestic cricket which will not only embellish our domestic cricket, lift the standard of our domestic cricket but also give these guys, unlikely to be picked in the Test matches, an opportunity to regain form and make a case for getting back in the team,” he added.
The first one on the flight back home from Perth should be India opener KL Rahul according to Gavaskar.
“He (Rahul) has no chance of playing in the remaining two Tests unless of course there is an injury to any player. I think that he should be coming back and playing Ranji Trophy for Karnataka. It is not just that he is out of form, he is just not there and you can see that. He can prove me wrong and I will be very happy to be proven wrong as long as the Indian team benefits.”