Sunil Gavaskar expresses displeasure about Team India’s selection policy
As torrential rains lashed the ACA-VDCA stadium in Visakhapatnam post tea on Day 1 of the first Test between India and South Africa, legendary Indian cricketer and commentator Sunil Gavaskar expressed his views on Virat Kohli-led Indian team’s rise to the top of the tree. While the team has seen a lot of success under Kohli, Gavaskar expressed his displeasure at the constant chopping and changing of the playing XI, suggesting that this affects the confidence of players who are made to sit out despite good performances.
Speaking to the official broadcasters Gavaskar said someone like Ashwin should be a regular in India’s test XI anywhere in the world. “You don’t become ICC’s No. 1 Test bowler for nothing. He has the ability to pick wickets anywhere in the world. The team management has to understand this and back him,” Gavaskar said.
Ashwin is playing first Test of 2019 after warming the bench in the Windies, a place where he has an impeccable record. The premier off-spinner last played in Australia in December 2018. He was not included in India’s XI for the two-match series in West Indies as Ravindra Jadeja was preferred as the lone spinner.
The former Indian opener also gave Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Murali Vijay’s example to back his claims.
“I remember last year in South Africa Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up a lot of wickets in the first Test, he really swung the ball but he was dropped for the next Test. Murali Vijay too I believe should have been given a longer run.
“Selection has to be in such a way that the confidence of the player is not down. I mean there may be communication inside the dressing room which we are certainly not aware,” Gavaskar said.
India, notably dropped Rishabh Pant for the first Test and brought back Wriddhiman Saha in the playing XI for the first time since in January 2018. Pant had scored the second most runs since his debut in 2018 as a keeper only behind South Africa’s Quinton de Kock. Kohli however reasoned that Saha was chosen because of his better keeping skills.