Sunil Gavaskar gives 'masterclass' on how to play spin ahead of 4th Test
- India vs England: Former India captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has maintained that the surfaces might have helped spinners but they weren't unplayable.
Even as England won the toss and elected to bat first ahead of the fourth Test match against India in Ahmedabad, the discussion in the build up to the decider was all about spin. India's victory within two days in the third Test meant several former English cricketers including former captains like Micheal Vaughan, Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook were blaming the pitches in India and calling out the distinct advantage the hosts got from the surfaces used in the second and third Test match.
Former India captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar though has maintained that the surfaces might have helped spinners but they weren't unplayable. He has in the past pointed out the deficiencies in the English batsmen when it comes to negotiating quality spin and he did that on Thursday too when he gave a 'Masterclass' on how to play spin, during host broadcasters Star Sports pre-match show Cricket Live.
During the 'demo' Gavaskar broke down the essentials of playing into three parts, starting first with the need to have a still head.
"Well, the first thing to do when you are playing fast bowling or spin bowling is to have a still head, which means that you don't move your head too much. Just stand still so that you get a better idea of what the line and length is going to be.After that you can either move forward or backward. But if you have a still head to negotiate anything," he said.
Talking about the correct way to defend a spinning ball, Gavaskar spoke about the basics of defending off the front foot and the back foot.
"With spin bowling all you need to do is to get right forward as we saw Virat Kohli do. Even as he got right forward we saw his head was right on to of the ball. Or you go back and defend but when you are defending off the backfoot the bottom hand becomes very important because if you hold it loose, less chance of the ball popping up if there is an edge or going to the close in catchers," Gavaskar, the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket said.
The veteran commentator also gave piece of advice to moderday batsmen on how to use their feet to negate spin
"You get as close to the ball as possible whether in defense or whether you want to go and attack because that way you negate any deviation off the pitch. And that's why you saw Cheteshwar Pujara doing that so successfully in Australia and here as well. Going down the pitch so that the ball doesn't get much room to do anything," he opined