Sunil Gavaskar hints at favouritism in Asia Cup team selection

Sunil Gavaskar is unhappy that batsman Cheteshwar Puraja and pacer Ishwar Pandey did not get a chance to play in the Asia Cup tournament.

Updated: March 06, 2014 16:48 IST
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India's team selection policy continues to baffle former Indian Test captain Sunil Gavaskar. A highly respected TV expert, Gavaskar has often slammed India's team methods and Wednesday's decision to not include batsman Cheteshwar Pujara (in pic) and pacer Ishwar Pandey in an inconsequential Asia Cup match against Afghanistan in Dhaka has clearly annoyed him. (Scorecard | Blog)

Speaking on live television, Gavaskar said: "It is baffling that Ishwar Pandey and Pujara are not given chances. Are they worried that if they do well then their favourite batsman or bowler will not be able to get there place in team. This is really ridiculous."

Gavaskar has earlier criticized India's selection strategy, even indicating that a 'club culture' employed by the team management has hurt the team's interest. The captain, coach and manager usually forms the team management. It may or may not include senior players. Usually the captain's choice prevails.

During the tour of New Zealand, where India lost a Test series, the former Test opener hinted that a 'coterie' is at work when it comes to picking players. In an ideal scenario, Pujara and Pandey should have got a chance to play in Bangladesh on Wednesday, feels Gavaskar. "Why is the team worried to give them a chance to play and perform?" he asked.

Earlier this week, Gavaskar strongly criticized the team's work ethic following its one-wicket loss to Pakistan in the Asia Cup on Sunday. The defeat virtually put paid to India's hopes of reaching the finals. Gavaskar said he was against the idea of an optional practice session and that it had let the team down. (Match report)

"India's work ethic has been pretty abysmal. It has let the team down. They have not practised well and there can nothing be something like optional practice. There was no excuse for anyone apart from Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli to miss practice," Gavaskar told NDTV in an exclusive chat.

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