The former Indian captain was critical of Team India's choice and believed that it was yet another mistake on the part of the selectors who have already come under much scrutiny. (Also Read: Selection of ‘slow’ RP Singh shocks everyone)
"They might have picked him because he was bowling at the same pace and getting the ball to move. He has a lot of pace but it's not easy to come back to Test cricket, even if there is a gap of 3 months, it is difficult. You are now talking about a man who has not played Test cricket for 3 years and I believe he was on a holiday somewhere", Gavaskar said in an exclusive interview to NDTV.
Munaf Patel, who had travelled with the initial Indian squad, has not found a place in the playing XI in any of the four Test matches played.
Gavaskar who had earlier expressed his views in favour of selecting Munaf over Sreesanth in the fourth Test was surprised at the decision. "It was going to be a little too much to ask him to deliver the goods. Munaf on the other hand despite not playing here, played in the West Indies so he is relatively match fit. It tells you there are some differences in the thought process and that's why India have been performing poorly".
Gavaskar also questioned the thought process of the selection panel. "Munaf has been with the team and this is what has baffled me about the Indian team. A player comes in when there is a replacement in the squad and plays ahead of him."
The decision is even more surprising considering the fact that the right-armer had convincingly led the Indian attack on the West Indies tour
"So what does it tell you? what the touring team thinks about the selection back home...it shows a lack of co-ordination between the touring team's think tank and that of the selectors.", Gavaskar added.
RP Singh had come in to the squad to replace an injured Zaheer Khan but his selection was seemingly unlikely in the Indian side. The decision to select him however, is widely credited to be as a result of his yester-year overseas performances and not on current form. (Also Read: I was nervous, says RP Singh)
India are already 3-0 down in the series and put up a mediocre display on the first day of the Oval Test. Team India's combination of three seamers and one spinner failed to pick up a single wicket in the 26 overs of the only session of play that happened on Thursday. England cruised to a comfortable position of 75/0 as they went into lunch, but rain forced suspension of play.