Mumbai, July 10,2023.
WHEN ROHIT Sharma took over India’s captaincy last February, after a tumultuous end to Virat Kohli’s reign, the legendary Sunil Gavaskar was among those who expected much from him. Since then, India failed to qualify for the T20 World Cup final in Australia, lost the World Test Championship final, and did poorly in a Test series in South Africa.
The series of reverses has left Gavaskar disappointed with Rohit’s captaincy and he has also asked for more accountability for the coaching staff of Rahul Dravid, Vikram Rathour and Paras Mhambrey.
The former Indian skipper also wanted to know if a proper review of India’s losses was done by the selectors and BCCI. Talking specifically about India’s World Test Championship loss to Australia last month, he said coach Dravid and captain Rohit should have been asked to explain the decisions they took.
“They should be asking questions, ‘Why did you field first?’ Okay, it was explained at the toss that it was overcast and all. The question after that should be, ‘You didn’t know about Travis Head’s weakness against the short ball?’ Why was the bouncer employed only when he had scored 80 runs. You know, the moment Head came in to bat, in the commentary box, we had Ricky Ponting saying, ‘Bounce him, bounce him.’ Everyone knew about it but we didn’t try.”
After the WTC loss, Rohit Sharma spoke about the lack of preparation and how in an ideal world a team would need 20 days of preparation. Gavaskar did not buy that argument. “What kind of preparation are we talking about? Now they have gone to the West Indies. You have the example of the World Test Championship before you. Are you playing any matches? So what is this talk about 20-25 days? … When you talk about preparation, be genuine about it. Go 15 days before, play two warm-up matches. The main guys can rest, but the fringe players might be actually challenging those who are not doing well. He does not get an opportunity to show that he is good enough.”