India vs Australia: ‘Indians are in a Christmas mood’, Sunil Gavaskar reacts to India’s shoddy fielding
The Indian bowlers responded well after their batsmen were all out for 244, wrecking Australia’s top order, but the one department that let them down was the fielding. The Indian fielder were pretty average, especially with their catching as they allowed Marnus Labuschagne two lifelines. The batsman was on 12 when he put down at fine leg by Jasprit Bumrah and later dropped by Prithvi Shaw off Bumrah when he was on 21.
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Both chances were straightforward. Bumrah came running in and although he got underneath the ball, he let the ball slip between his hands. The one that Shaw dropped at square leg was even simpler. Labuschagne made the most of the reprieves and although he did not get a big one, he did score 47 to give Australia’s score some semblance.
Sunil Gavaskar, unimpressed with India’s fielding came up with a gem on air. Watching Shaw drop Labuschagne on 21, Gavaskar felt Christmas had come early for the Indian team. “All I can think of is the Indians are in a Christmas mood. Giving their Christmas gifts a week early,” Gavaskar said.
On Day 1, Gavaskar had weighed in on India’s poor show by opening batsmen Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal. Shaw was out for a second-ball duck while Agarwal scored 17, but both batsmen were guilty of leaving a big gap between their bat and pad, which allowed the bowlers to exploit it and bowl the batsmen.
“Even today, have a look at where his bat ends. There is such a big gap between bat and pad. Just the second delivery of the game and you want to make sure that you are playing with soft hands. You are playing as late as possible. The whole idea in Test match cricket is that you don’t go there. Then you are leaving that much of a gap between bat and pad, allowing for any late movement, either to get an inside edge or snick between bat and pad,” Gavaskar, a former India captain, told 7Cricket.
“The trick is to try and play as close to the pads as possible, which means your bat speed has to be minimal at the start of the innings. As you grow in confidence, yes then you go and play your shots. But at the start when you are not even off the mark, you want to try and reduce your bat speed. Don’t leave any gap between bat and pad.”