Former Indian opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar has revealed his disappointment with India’s top-order batsman in the ongoing first Test in Australia. India’s debatable selection for the opening combination for the first Test in Adelaide began backfiring from the second ball itself. The visitors, who are 107-3 thus far after some disciplined bowling from Australia, could not get the desired start from the openers and Sunil Gavaskar has lashed out.
Left-arm speedster Mitchell Starc dismissed Prithvi Shaw only in the second ball of the innings for a duck as the batsman inside-edged one onto the stumps. Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal weathered the storm for a short while before Pat Cummins came up with a brilliant delivery that rearranged Mayank Agarwal’s stumps. Cummins broke Mayank’s 39-ball stay in the 19th over as the right-handed batsman perished for 17.
Sunil Gavaskar pointed out there was a massive gap between Prithvi Shaw’s bat and pad. The 71-year old believes that in only the second delivery of the innings, one should not play with soft hands which leaves too much gap between bat and pad, permitting any late movement to sneak in between those.
“Even today, have a look at where his bat ends. There is such a big gap between bat and pad. Just the second delivery of the game and you want to make sure that you are playing with soft hands. You are playing as late as possible. The whole idea in Test match cricket is that you don’t go there. Then you are leaving that much of a gap between bat and pad, allowing for any late movement, either to get an inside edge or snick between bat and pad,” Sunil Gavaskar said as quoted by India Today.
Gavaskar highlighted that the batsman must try playing as close to the pads as possible and the bat speed has to be at minimal during the start. The legendary opener that the batsman must reduce their bat speed when they are not off the mark and reduce the gap between bat and pad.
“The trick is to try and play as close to the pads as possible, which means your bat speed has to be minimal at the start of the innings. As you grow in confidence, yes then you go and play your shots. But at the start when you are not even off the mark, you want to try and reduce your bat speed. Don’t leave any gap between bat and pad,” the 71-year old asserted.
Sunil Gavaskar decodes Mayank Agarwal’s dismissal:
Mayank Agarwal, who became a victim of Pat Cummins, was accused of leaving a huge gap between the bat and pad too. Sunil Gavaskar opined that even a truck could have gone through the hole and that the Indians are committing a mistake.
“Well again, you can have a look at this. He’s (Mayank) played very hard at the ball, later on. This particular shot shows that the bat is close to the pad. It wasn’t. The ball snicked through there was such a big gap..a truck could have gone. A truck could have gone between that bat and pad. So that’s what the Indians are making a big mistake,” he added.