Former Indian cricket team skipper Sunil Gavaskar© Twitter
Former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar was highly critical of Australia for ‘playing mind games’ ahead of the Test series against India starting February 9. The controversy started when Ian Healy commented on the pitches on offer in India and his claim was backed by a number of Australian ex-cricketers. Gavaskar cited the example of the Test match against South Africa that ended in two days at Brisbane and said that the visitors do not have any position to criticise.
“The Aussies have started the mind games by talking about the pitches that were on offer when they toured here last. A country where a Test match finishes in two days has no right to moan about Indian pitches. The Brisbane game against South Africa finished in two days. It’s not just the matter of the game finishing in two days, but the kind of pitch that was prepared. With the ball flying all over the place it was dangerous to life and limb. On a turner the only issue is the reputation of batters that is in danger and not their life and limb,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Mid-Day.
In the past few days, the Australian team has more than once predicted a rank turner as the pitch of choice for the hosts. Gavaskar said that the ability to play spin bowling properly is the mark of a good batsman and as a result, a pitch like that will be a challenge for both sides.
“What the two-day finish in Brisbane showed was that even the best batters of both teams had their hearts in their mouths. Of course, some sections of the Oz media made excuses saying since it’s a batters game, a pitch like that gives the bowlers some chance. Oh yeah, then why crib when the pitches in the sub-continent turn from Day one. Playing spin is the ultimate challenge for a ‘batter as it tests his footwork and the use of the crease to nullify the turn. There are mind games with the bowler too, that’s why those who score a century or more in the sub-continent will be recognised as great batters,” the former Indian skipper further wrote.
The first Test match between India and Australia will take place in Nagpur.
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