The legendary Sunil Gavaskar could miss the presentation of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which India captain Virat Kohli will receive, regardless of the result of the fourth and final Test against Australia. Gavaskar said he has not received an invitation from Cricket Australia. The tourists (Team India) have taken an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-Test series and will retain the trophy they won at home last year.
“I was sent a letter by Cricket Australia’s Chief Executive, James Sutherland in May asking about my availability to present the Border-Gavaskar trophy and I would have been happy to go. But he stepped down and there has been no further contact,” Gavaskar told India Today.
Border and Gavaskar were the first two to touch the 10000-run mark in Test cricket. Cricket Australia has since undergone an overhaul in the aftermath of the ball-tampering controversy in March, with Sutherland being one of the employees to depart the scene.
India won the first Test in Adelaide before being humbled by the hosts in Perth. However, the visitors fought back to claim the Boxing Day Test by 131 runs and take a 2-1 lead.
The Border-Gavaskar trophy was introduced in 1996.
One thing is for sure, India will be going into the Sydney Test with a fifth bowler. It is not clear whether they include an additional spinner in the form of Ravichandran Ashwin if fully fit, or Kuldeep Yadav to befuddle the Australian batsmen struggling to find form. It could even be the pace-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya if the curator listens to the Australian bowlers to leave a lot of grass for the ball to move and bounce.
The Sydney pitch is known to assist spinners and so it should be Ashwin who can be classified as an all-rounder, having scored four Test hundreds and 11 fifties.
He was out in the indoor nets with the team’s physio Patrick Farhart to see whether he has fully recovered from the abdominal strain that kept him out of the Melbourne Test.
Since the vacancy in the team is created by Rohit Sharma going home to be with his wife and their new-born first child, a daughter, Kohli might even think of getting a batsman, thus gambling one final time with either Lokesh Rahul of Murali Vijay, pushing Hanuma Vihari to No 6 in the order. That would be a defensive move. Ideally, they should go with a bowler who can bat adequately, like Pat Cummins does for Australia.