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Indian cricket team missed a 5th specialist bowler in Ranchi Test: Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar believes that a fifth specialist bowler could have made a big difference for the Indian cricket team in the Ranchi Test against Australia.

cricket Updated: Mar 21, 2017 11:55 IST
New Delhi
Indian cricket team,Sunil Gavaskar,Ranchi Test
Indian cricket team went with their conventional four-bowler attack in the third Test match against Australia in Ranchi.(REUTERS)

Sunil Gavaskar feels that the Indian cricket team missed a fifth bowler in the third and penultimate Test match against Australia which ended in a draw in Ranchi on Monday.

Gavaskar was of the opinion that with Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandra Saha and Ravindra Jadeja in good nick, India can afford to bring in a fifth bowler in the playing eleven to share the burden of its four-men bowling attack.

READ | What went wrong for Team India in Ranchi Test

“India’s batting has benefited from the fact that you have somebody like (Ravichandran) Ashwin, somebody like a Wriddhiman Saha at No 6, 7 and 8. And if Jadeja can come score runs as he has done in this series then I think it really makes sense to go back to five bowlers and six batsmen theory,” Gavaskar told NDTV.

“Today clearly India missed a fifth bowler. I am not saying a fifth bowler would have ripped through the opposition but he would have given just that little bit of break to our hard working fast bowlers. Both Umesh (Yadav) and Ishant (Sharma) bowled their hearts out,” he said.

The former India captain also differed with Australia captain Steve Smith and said it is not the visitors but India who has the momentum on its side going into the fourth and final Test in Dharamsala starting Saturday.

READ | Steve Smith at it again, says momentum with Australia going into Dharamsala

“I think the momentum is still with India because they are ones who came back, having batted second and chasing 450 plus score. They might not have bowled Australia out but I think the momentum definitely is still with India,” Gavaskar said.

“At the end of the day momentum doesn’t mattter much because after the Bangalore win we thought India has the momentum but things didn’t go well. So what happens on the day is important.”

Gavaskar also praised Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh for their their gritty batting effort to bail Australia out in the game.

READ | Smith and Kohli in eye of new storm, this time over Indian cricket team physio

The duo stitched match-saving 124 runs for the fifth wicket to deny India a win.

“I think the way these two (Handscomb and marsh) batted, they denied India a win. It was good old fashioned Test match batting. It didn’t mean that they were playing for a draw from the first ball of the game. It’s fine when you find that you are not in a position to win then it’s better to save the game and live to fight for another day. And that’s exactly what the Australians have done because if Australia would have lost today, it would have been an uphill climb. Now they have an opportunity to win the series,” he said.

First Published: Mar 21, 2017 09:20 IST