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Sunil Gavaskar: Opening with Kohli was a little strange

January 29, 2014 10:18 IST

'Indian bowlers committing the same mistakes again and again'



Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar lashed out at the Indian bowlers' indifferent showing in the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand, which the visitors have already lost after defeat in the fourth one-dayer in Hamilton on Tuesday.

He was categorical in his criticism after they failed to defend a total of 278 and New Zealand took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match rubber.

"Bowling is a major concern for India. I don't know what the problem is. I don't know whether they are getting any guidance or not. They are committing the same mistakes again and again. Until they rectify the mistakes soon, it will be very difficult during next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand," Gavaskar said.

Image: Mohammad Shami
Photographs: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images


'Changes for the sake of it'

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The legendary opener also questioned team selection and the combination that was used on the day.

"It appeared to me that some of the changes are for the sake of changes. This is what happens when you come on an overseas tour with only two specialist openers. You try to send your best batsman (Virat Kohli) to open when you have a player (Ajinkya Rahane) who has opened for India in the T20 format. It was hard to understand and I found it a little strange," Gavaskar told NDTV.

Gavaskar feels that an opener's job is a specialist one and a No 3 shouldn't have been sent to open the batting.

"The score (278) was certainly under-par as we didn't have a good start. Logically, a No 3 can come out to bat in the second ball of the innings, but, again, he gets that extra few seconds to gather his thoughts. It doesn't happen with an opener, who has to simply go out there and face the bowling.

"Also, it's a specialist job, as he faces the hard ball which bounces a bit more and the seam is hard," he explained.

Image: Ambati Rayudu
Photographs: Phil Walter/Getty Images

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'Binny is in the side for his ability as a finisher'

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Gavaskar, however, didn't want to read too much into Stuart Binny not getting a chance to bat in the top seven and being given only one over to bowl.

"I think Stuart Binny is in the side for his ability as a finisher. He is in the team because of his batting and not the other way round. He is always going to be the sixth bowler in the set-up.

"Obviously, you don't expect a part-timer to pick up three or four wickets in the first over. Even regular bowlers don't do that," Gavaskar said.

Image: Stuart Binny

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