Gavaskar slams India for not enough practice

Updated: 06 January 2012 20:53 IST

Former captain Sunil Gavaskar on Friday came down hard on Indian cricketers, who have skipped practice sessions during the ongoing Test series against Australia, saying they have not gone there for "sightseeing but to play cricket".

Gavaskar slams India for not enough practice
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New Delhi:

Former captain Sunil Gavaskar on Friday came down hard on Indian cricketers, who have skipped practice sessions during the ongoing Test series against Australia, saying they have not gone there for "sightseeing but to play cricket".

Gavaskar was critical of some of the Indian players' "attitude" towards practice, which he said was one of the reasons for the visitors' humiliating losses in the first two Tests of the four-match series.

"Christmas is big in Australia and it's understandable for Australian players taking off after first Test. But what were our players doing? Why were they not doing practice? Have they gone there for sightseeing or (to) play cricket?" asked a furious Gavaskar.

"The first Test ended on the fourth day and the next day was a free day. But did the Indian team practice? I don't think they practiced. Why did they not practice? Nobody knows. Why was this question not asked? These questions need to be asked, he said.

"The attitude has to be there. There is no attitude to go there. You have to go out there and practice cricket," Gavaskar added.

Australia took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series after defeating India by an innings and 68 runs in Sydney on Friday. The visitors had earlier lost the series opener in Melbourne by a huge margin of 122 runs.

The former India skipper also criticised the BCCI for their scheduling of tour games.

"We should have planned this tour a lot better. We played a two-day game, we played a three-day game and now between this Test (second) and the next Test there are five days and there is nothing happening. Should not a two-day game have been organised in Perth because that's the fastest pitch in Australia," Gavaskar told NDTV.

"If the (BCCI) technical committee is not taken into confidence when the fixture is planned what is the point of having the committee," he fumed.

Gavaskar said that the home series against the West Indies should have been planned in the reverse order with the ODIs held before the Test matches so that the players came to Australia in Test cricket mode.

India lost their sixth consecutive Test abroad, an innings and 68-run defeat in the second Test against Australia in Sydney on Friday and Gavaskar blamed it on too much of limited overs cricket.

"We play too much of limited over cricket. We play in slow and low pitches whereas in Australia the pitches are very hard. It's not easy to adjust from playing on frontfoot to playing on backfoot," he said.

Gavaskar said pacer Praveen Kumar, who has missed the Australia tour due to an injury, should be sent there if he is fit.

"I think the selectors picked the best available team barring Praveen Kumar who of course could not go to Australia due to injury. But from the way Ben Hilfenhaus was swinging the ball Praveen Kumar should have done well," he said.

"Praveen is slower than Hilfenhaus but he should have swung the ball. I don't know his fitness status but PK should be sent now if he is fit after doing whatever fitness test on him," said the former captain.

Gavaskar also advised the media not to focus on Sachin Tendulkar's elusive 100th international ton and said the veteran batsman should have played in the ODI series against the West Indies to notch up the feat so that the "monkey was off his back".

"We have been talking about Tendulkar's impending 100th international ton for the past nine months. He himself has said that it's just a number and is not worried about scoring or not scoring the 100th century.

"I would advise the media not to mention a single word on his 100th ton. But he should have played against West Indies in ODI series. He could have scored his 100th ton and could have gone to Australia without this hype," said Gavaskar.

"The monkey would have been off from his back if he had scored his 100th ton against West Indies," he added.

Topics : Cricket Sunil Gavaskar India Australia India in Australia, 2011-12
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