ODI Wins Great but Don't Forget Test Losses: Sunil Gavaskar to Team India
India sealed the ODI series against England with three wins on the trot but Sunil Gavaskar tells NDTV that Tests are what separate men from the boys and that the recent defeats in the format should continue to serve as a lesson.
Former India captain and NDTV expert Sunil Gavaskar praised Team India for its historic ODI series win in England on Tuesday. He however, cautioned that the previous losses in Tests to the same opponents should not be forgotten. (4th ODI scorecard | Match in pics)
Speaking to NDTV on Wednesday, Gavaskar praised India's confident performance in the four ODIs in England. The tourists won the Edgbaston match to seal the five-ODI series 3-0 - their first bilateral ODI series win in England since 1990.
"The team is handling itself a lot better overseas (in ODIs)," he said, adding that the current form should be good enough for the side to defend World Cup title. He however warned that Test performances count for a lot in international cricket as well. "For me, Test cricket has always been the No.1 format in the game. It is the one that distinguishes the men from the boys. It is the one where your skills and temperament are tested to the full." (Shikhar Dhawan-Ajinkya Rahane: India's new opening pair?)
India are on a high currently, but were left in tatters after conceding the Test series 3-1 to England. "India failed miserably (in Tests against England). So I don't think we can ignore that because tomorrow, if you say India is never going to play a Test match again, then you can forget it. But since India is going to play three Test matches against West Indies, four Test matches against Australia, you must not forget what has happened here in England," said Gavaskar. (Also read: Shikhar Dhawan thanks Ravi Shastri for India's turnaround)
The former India opener also said that India's performance in ODIs were better than England's triumphs in the Tests. "India won a Test. On the other hand, in the three ODI matches that we have seen so far, England have been completely overwhelmed. India have had massive wins - 133 runs in the 1st ODI, then by 6 wickets and now by 9 wickets." (Also read: England coach Moores' World Cup plans in tatters)
The biggest win - by nine wickets - was also the most recent and one which helped Mahendra Singh Dhoni become India's most successful ODI captain with 91 triumphs, eclipsing Mohammed Azharuddin's tally of 90 wins. Gavaskar though, said it was unfair to compare him with other skippers. "I would not go into comparisons. They were different formats and that's the reason it's unfair to compare the captains or the players that have played in different eras" he said. "But going by sheer statistical record I think Mahendra Singh Dhoni is tops at the moment and that's how we should enjoy it."
India now, have the chance to sweep the ODI series when they play the fifth and final match at Leeds on Friday.