After West Indies thrashed India by 124 runs in the first ODI of a five-match series at Kochi, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar slammed the way Indian batsmen went about their business chasing a daunting 322 and said the way some of them got out was disappointing. (Also read: Dhoni rues India's poor batting)
The former Test opener singled out Virat Kohli, whose flop show at the top of the batting order continues since the series against England. (Also read: Samuels stars in West Indies' win)
Gavaskar told NDTV that Kohli's form was a definite cause of concern and suggested he be pushed lower down the order by the Indian team management.
"When somebody who regulary churns out 100s is not even getting to 10s or 20s, it is a huge cause of concern. I think Kohli really has got a lot of technical issues and the Indian management should consider to drop him to No.4 or maybe No.5. You can't be stubborn in one-day cricket and think there is only one way to go about it. There has to be flexibility in the batting order."
Gavaskar explained that most of Kohli's recent problems came against the moving, new ball on the off-stump and therefore, batting at No.5 could help him get back to runs.
"Kohli's problems have been against the moving ball, on the off-stump and playing away from the body. Against the new balls, those problems can be further exposed. Therefore, Kohli can be held off till No.5 and he could get back to runs that way," added Gavaskar.
While Marlon Samuels starred with both the bat and the ball for West Indies (126 not out and 2/10), Virat Kohli's disastrous run with the bat continued as he was once again forced into playing with an angled bat by Jerome Taylor and dismissed for just 2 runs after Darren Sammy completed an easy catch at slip.
"It was a disappointing performance from India because the pitch was a very good one to bat on and I thought India would get somewhere near 300 if not go past 321. The way some of the batsmen got out is a cause for concern. They were ordinary dismissals. A series we could have won 5-0 could slip out of our hands."
Before the loss to West Indies in the series opener, there had been a huge drama over whether the Caribbean side will even turn out on the pitch to play. Some pay disputes between the Windies board and the players had made the team plan a boycott but all that did not affect the game. West Indies practically outplayed hosts India in all departments of the game to claim the first of five ODIs.
"I don't think the bitter loss is going to affect the morale of the Indian team but the West Indies' confidence will be really high because they beat the senior India side with a convincing margin after going down against India A in both the matches," said Gavaskar.
Gavaskar also had words of praise for the West Indies batsmen.
"There were some doubters in the West Indies team before the match but all that will dissipate now. The Windies batsmen played sensibly. They played straight and never played across the line," the former India captain signed off.