New Delhi, Aug 18: Former captains Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly have blasted the Indian team and said it was high time for the selectors to take some tough decisions following the embarrassing 1-3 Test series loss to England. Ganguly said the team had shown “no effort, no heart, no fight.”
“There have to be some harsh decisions. The selectors’ outlook has to change – when you pick your players, when you identify talent, these are the things you have to look for: who gets runs for you in difficult circumstances, who gets runs for you when the chips are down, who gets runs for you when you are 50-5,” Ganguly told Headlines Today.
Citing the example of Australia, Gavaskar said successful teams have the ability to take tough decisions when they are down in the dumps. “One of the reasons why Australia have clawed back to the top spot is that they take tough calls and that is the need of the hour for India,” he said. Gavaskar was upset that the young Indian team was refusing to learn from past mistakes.
“Even till two days, I was defending the team. But you see them today, they have made the same mistakes over and over again. It means the team is not learning. Do they care about it? I don’t know,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying by NDTV after India suffered a 1-3 Test series loss to England Sunday at The Oval in London.
Gavaskar wondered how much rope could be given to young players before taking a tough decision. “Most of these players have played in South Africa, New Zealand and England. How much of a rope do you give a young player? I think somewhere down the line some firm decisions have to be taken. I don’t know if they will be taken,” he said.
Gavaskar was tongue-and-cheek in suggesting that India should stop playing Test cricket for while. He believes that nothing is going to change despite a string embarrassing defeats overseas. “Nothing is going to change. Certainly nothing is going to change till the end of the World Cup. So there really is no point talking about it,” said Gavaskar.
Gavaskar feared that the humiliation in the Tests would soon be forgotten if India did well in the ODIs. India will now take on England in an ODI series and a one-off T20. Test routing could soon be emotions of the past. “If we do well in the one-dayers which follow in a week’s time, the Test series will be forgotten and that is the tragedy of Indian cricket. The tragedy of Indian cricket is that a lot of the Test defeats are swept under the carpet.
At the end of the day, however well you do in limited overs cricket, it is Test cricket that defines you as a cricketer, defines your place in the history of the game. If you are going to have all the Test wins and all the Test losses swept under the carpet, then you are not going to make any progress,” Gavaskar said.