The Web


Home > Cricket > ICC Champions Trophy 2004 > PTI > Report

Rohan Gavaskar - India's periphery man?

Ashish Shukla | September 14, 2004 21:27 IST

Rohan Gavaskar's career is going nowhere despite two seasons in the Indian dressing room and the general opinion that the left-hander is a steady influence with both bat and ball.

The Bengal captain and son of the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, Rohan immediately caught attention in Australia last season with his compact methods, but two seasons down the line he remains the "periphery man" of Indian cricket.

Rohan GavaskarChosen as the 15th player of Indian squad for the tri-series in Holland and the NatWest Challenge in England, Rohan has been accommodated in the Champions Trophy in the absence of an injured Sachin Tendulkar, but remains an "extra player" as far as the playing eleven is concerned.

His 10 matches have produced only 138 runs at 19.71 and his solitary wicket has come at an embarrassing average of 74.00. But here is a clear case of figures not revealing the whole picture.

He played in six league games in Australia and had a high of 54 in the Adelaide game against the world champions. He was also extremely impressive with his left-arm spin and conceded only 56 runs against the power-packed bats of the Aussies.

Yet, he was ignored when India toured Pakistan earlier this year and then rain and the combination of poor luck dogged his progress on this European tour.

He has batted in only three of the four games he played on the European tour and has either been hemmed in by an abnormally high asking rate or been out to a freak dismissal in the field.

"When I came in against Pakistan (in Holland), we were chasing an asking rate of eight an over which soon climbed to 10 an over," said Rohan.

"Then against England (in Trent Bridge), I had settled in nicely for my 20 runs before (Paul) Collingwood at point took that astonishing catch."

Rohan again got that little a start against England at the Oval before he hit a return catch to Ashley Giles -- again a case of impossibly high climbing rate that overwhelmed his innings.

Since then, he is cooling his heels -- first in the NatWest series Lord's game and then against Kenya in the Champions Trophy, as young wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik was preferred ahead of him.

Clearly, Rohan has not been able to stake his claim as the seventh batsman of the team, nor is his left-arm spin seen as an essential ingredient.

Is he incapable of hitting those big shots which are required to play in the final overs and which could justify his presence in the team as the seventh basman?

"I think I can play big shots and have shown such ability in the past," said Rohan. "I am also willing to bat at any order I am asked to."

This includes opening the innings, a hypothetical assumption, since he is filling in the big shoes of Sachin Tendulkar in the squad.

"I have never opened in my career and it requires a different mindset but I would do whatever my team asks me to do," Rohan says.

The team, at the moment, though cannot think of any role for the left-hander. He also hardly bowled in his limited appearance for India despite captain Sourav Ganguly rating him as a left-arm spinner difficult to hit.

'When I faced him in the nets, I found he was not easy to hit because he bowls a flatter trajectory and the ball skids on to your bat,' Ganguly had said in Australia, an ultimate tribute from a player who possibly is the most destructive batsman in international cricket against left-arm spin.

Rohan, at best, can hope for three more One-Day Internationals before this season gets over for him. It is then back to the grind of domestic cricket where he has toiled for nine seasons and produced 5213 runs and grabbed 30 first class wickets from 86 matches.

However, with Karthik holding his ground nicely behind the stumps and a relieved Rahul Dravid flourishing with the bat, it might appear to many that the present season for Rohan is already over.

Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Write us a letter
Discuss this article

Related Stories

Tendulkar told to pace innings

Testing times for Ganguly

Gavaskar slams Indian batsmen

People Who Read This Also Read

Sri Lanka stumble past Zimbabwe

Ganguly overtakes Jayasuriya

'Real' tournament begins today

© Copyright 2004 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

ICC Champions Trophy 2004: The Complete Coverage

Copyright © 2004 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.