Sunil Gavaskar. Photo- Twitter
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar, a former Indian opening batter, lamented Deepak Hooda’s lack of “wise cricket” after their T20 World Cup loss to South Africa on Sunday. Sunil Gavaskar believes that had India played smartly, they would have reached 150.

After a strong start to their T20 World Cup campaign, India faced South Africa at the Optus Stadium in Perth, where the Proteas’ speed lineup, especially Lungi Ngidi, who went on to collect four wickets for 29 runs in his four-over period, dragged their vaunted batting lineup down to earth.

Rohit Sharma and company struggled to hold off a determined South African pace attack. Suryakumar Yadav scored the most 133 runs for the Men in Blue, scoring 68 runs off of 40 balls.

Suryakumar Yadav. PC- ICC
Suryakumar Yadav. PC- ICC

Sunil Gavaskar Criticizes Deepak Hooda’s Shot Selection

“I am not blaming them(batters), I am saying generally saying that apart from Suryakumar Yadav, nobody played the kind of cricket with the experience that they had that would have helped us get those 15-20 runs more,” he was quoted as saying by India Today. 

Additionally, Deepak Hooda was substituted for Axar Patel, and the young player, who was raised on placid Indian fields, immediately noticed the difference between playing in Perth.

Deepak Hooda
Deepak Hooda. Image: Twitter

He became uneasy because of the additional bounce, and by the time he was out, India had already lost their whole top order and just had 50 runs on the board. The youngster was instructed to play “smart cricket” by Sunil Gavaskar. 

“For example, some of the dismissals that we saw show that they were perhaps concerned about the pace and bounce on the pitch and therefore trying to do something different. But it was difficult to do something different against a quality attack,” Sunil Gavaskar said. 

“I have been stressing about playing an extra batter but Deepak Hooda tried to attack in his 3rd delivery when he had Suryakumar Yadav at the other end. He had to play smart cricket.” 

India Were A Few Runs Short: Sunil Gavaskar

Earlier, once India decided to bat, Ngidi spearheaded a ferocious pace assault to limit them to a subpar score. Yadav led India back from 49-5 with a crucial 52-run stand with Dinesh Karthik. Yadav scored 68 off 40 balls, including six fours and three sixes. 

Ngidi was well assisted by fellow fast bowler Wayne Parnell, who finished with 3-15 despite bowling a rare T20 first over to begin the innings. 

Lungi Ngidi
Lungi Ngidi. Pic Credits: Twitter.

“I think, in cricket, you are going to have situations where catches are going to be dropped, run-out opportunities missed. What you really going to see is that we didn’t score enough runs.

On a pitch like this where there is going to be a little bit of a challenge for batters, I think you have got to play it smartly. I don’t think we played smart enough cricket because if you had played smart cricket, we would have had a 150 on the board,” he added. 

Also Read: IND vs SA: Very Hard To Find An Area of Weakness In Suryakumar Yadavs Game- Stephen Fleming