Munaf was not worth his place in the team : Gavaskar | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Munaf was not worth his place in the team : Gavaskar

Furious with the pacer's sluggish fielding, the former captain said he had no problems with Munaf as a bowler but felt the pacer could neither really bat, nor did he give his best in the field.

cricket Updated: Feb 17, 2008 18:21 IST

A livid Sunil Gavaskar today lashed out at Indian seamer Munaf Patel for his lackadaisical attitude on the field and suggested he should not have been included in the side that lost to Australia in the tri-series one-dayer here on Sunday.

Furious with the pacer's sluggish fielding, the former captain said he had no problems with Munaf as a bowler but felt the pacer could neither really bat, nor did he give his best in the field.

In such a situation, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla or all-rounder Praveen Kumar, who can bat a bit, would have been a better choice as the fourth bowler, Gavaskar said.

"If he is among the three regular bowlers, it's okay but Munaf does not deserve a place as the fourth bowler. Because he cannot bat, he is useless as a fielder and in one-day cricket you need to do well in at least two aspects," Gavaskar said.

"I do not have anything against him. He is a good bowler. But his attitude on the field is just not right," Gavaskar said.

Fielding at mid-wicket, Munaf cut a sorry figure when Michael Clarke worked a Harbhajan Singh delivery and ran three before the pacer could get to the ball.

Munaf could be blamed for squandering at least one run out chance as well. While bowling, Munaf was nowhere in the scene to receive the point fielder's throw with James Hopes well short of his ground.

In the 42nd over too, Irfan Pathan collected a ball at third man and threw it at the bowler's end. But Munaf again was not sighted anywhere near the stumps and Clarke was home.

However, later captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni defended his decision to field Munaf, saying he needed a bowler "who does not think too much and bowls according to the field."

"Munaf is a bowler who bowls according to the field which was important. He does not think too much. But with Sreesanth it is difficult when you need the bowler to bowl as per the field," Dhoni said.