'Selection has to be in such way that confidence of player is not down,' Sunil Gavaskar slams team management
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar has once again slammed the Indian team management for constantly chopping and changing squads across formats. India locked horns with South Africa in the first Test of the ongoing three-match series on Wednesday at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam. Gavaskar, who is on commentary duties in the series, expressed his disappointment over India's selection policy during the Tea break in Vizag after India dominated the early proceedings in the game.
Gavaskar insisted that players should be given enough time and opportunities to prove themselves before being dropped from the team. He spoke about veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who was dropped from the two-match series against West Indies in the Carribean in August, and said that the spinner should be a regular in the Test team after what he has achieved in his career.
“You don’t become ICC’s No. 1 Test bowler for nothing. He has the ability to pick wickets anywhere in the world. The team management has to understand this and back him,” Gavaskar told the official broadcasters during the 1st Test in Vizag.
India played Ravindra Jadeja at the expense of Ashwin in the two-match Test series against West Indies despite the latter possessing a stellar record in the Carribean. Ashwin last played for India in 2018 against Australia before making his return in the playing for the ongoing first Test against South Africa where he will be spearheading the spin attack along with Jadeja.
Gavaskar further gave examples of Murali Vijay and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who are currently not in India's scheme of things in Tests. He also stressed that selection should be done in a way that it does not hamper a player's confidence.
“I remember last year in South Africa Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up a lot of wickets in the first Test, he really swung the ball but he was dropped for the next Test. Murali Vijay too I believe should have been given a longer run. Selection has to be in such a way that the confidence of the player is not down. I mean there may be communication inside the dressing room which we are certainly not aware,” Gavaskar said.
India earlier had dropped KL Rahul from the Test squad after a string of poor performances from the right-hander to promote Rohit as an opener. Young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who is in the squad, was snubbed in the playing XI for the experienced Wriddhiman Saha.