Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar. Credits: Twitter

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has asked media outlets to avoid contacting foreign analysts in order to gain their thoughts on a particular player or players.  The Men in Blue will be keen to learn from their errors from the past two World Cups and aim for victory once again as the Indian cricket team enters another World Cup year. It is impossible to overstate how lengthy it has been since India last won an ICC competition, let less a World Cup.

And while the general public’s aspirations rise each year, they are only met with disappointment; examples include the previous two T20 World Cups, the 2017 Champions Trophy final, or the heartbreaking 2019 50-over World Cup. India just keeps missing out on an ICC championship.

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India vs New Zealand In ODI WC 2019
India vs New Zealand In ODI WC 2019 (Image Credit: Twitter)

Foreign Commentators May Actually Suggest Names That May Not Be What India Need: Sunil Gavaskar

The choice of the team is crucial, just as with any team. Although India had a strong 15-man unit the previous year, many believe that the absence of a few key players like Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja, as well as some controversial decisions like leaving Yuzvendra Chahal out of the Playing XI and omitting pace sensation Umran Malik from the squad, hurt the team’s chances.

India was eliminated as a result of their lopsided semifinal loss against England. Sunil Gavaskar’s request is being made because he believes that too much coverage of a player who may not be deserving of an India call-up sends out conflicting messages.

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Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Hopefully, our media won’t be going to overseas commentators asking who should be picked for India. Never forget that these commentators are loyal to their country and may actually suggest names that may not be what India need.

“We saw what happened in the last World Cup where a newcomer’s name was pushed by the overseas commentators during that season’s IPL and he was eventually picked over a proven performer and India ended up hardly playing him in the XI,” Sunil Gavaskar wrote in his column for Mid-Day.

Although he made no mention of a specific player, all evidence points to the 3D drama involving Ambati Rayudu and Vijay Shankar that occurred during the 2019 World Cup. For more than a year, India had moulded Rayudu to be their chosen No. 4 hitter, but when the roster was revealed, his name was strangely absent.

Sunil Gavaskar Hopes Media Would Refrain From Soliciting Opinions From Foreigners

The then-captain and coach, Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri favoured all-arounder Vijay Shankar, who had performed admirably in the IPL by hitting 244 runs and grabbing one wicket. However, that attempt was also a failure when Shankar had a foot injury and had to be replaced by Rishabh Pant after playing three matches and scoring 58 runs and taking two wickets.

Nobody benefited from this because India lost to New Zealand in the semifinal, and Rayudu and Shankar’s careers spiralled downward as a result.

Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar. Image-AP

Sunil Gavaskar hopes that the media would refrain from soliciting opinions from those who are unfamiliar with the Indian team, its players, and the squad lineups in order to avoid a repeat of what happened last time.

“Cricket being hugely popular, it is understandable that there has to be some cricket news or the other but it would be terrific if we don’t go around asking foreigners what our teams should be, because then the joke could well be on us, the Indian fans and it won’t be funny at all,” added Sunil Gavaskar.

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