Gavaskar Has No Qualifications to Criticise Indian Team

Sunil Gavaskar has described Indian cricket team as a schoolboy team. But Gavaskar played the slowest innings of the world by scoring 36 in 60 overs, denying other Indian players a chance to go for victory. Gavaskar was jealous of Kapil Dev and he dropped Kapil to deny him a world record of playing continuously in 100 test matches.

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Gavaskar has no qualifications to criticise Indian team

School boy team?

Recently, the former Indian cricket captain and star opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar stated that the present Indian cricket team is nothing but a bunch of school boys. Really? No doubt, the present Indian team is facing severe drubbing from the English players and injuries to its stars have aggravated the problem. But is Gavaskar’s statement true?

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Is Gavaskar qualified to speak?

Before we examine this statement, it is imperative to ask a counter question. Is Sunil Gavaskar a qualified person to speak about team performance, skills and producing results? What was Gavaskar’s record in his playing days? Let us go back to the first World Cup, which was held in England in 1975 under the name of Prudential World Cup. Srinivas Venkataraghavan (the current umpire) was the captain of the Indian team at that time. India met England in its first match. England scored a whopping 330 plus in its sixty overs (in those days, one day matches were played with sixty overs each side). India chased the impossible target under pressure.

Slowest innings

What was required at that time was a breezy start by the star opening batsman Gavaskar. India’s honour was in his hands. Whether India won or not, an attempt should have been made to chase the target. India’s captain Venkataraghavan would have definitely instructed Gavaskar to go for runs. But what did Gavaskar do? He played the entire sixty overs and scored a paltry 36 not out. Evan a Zimbabwe player or a Bangladesh player would have played better. Even if Gavaskar had got out trying to hit a ball, it would have been better as other batsmen would have attempted to hit the winning target. But Gavaskar, by occupying the crease, denied other Indian batsmen also the chance to go for the runs. In other words, he blocked India’s chance single handily. Gavaskar’s 36 not out in 60 overs is the slowest innings till to date in any form of cricket – test, one day and 20-20. Why did Gavaskar play like this? After the match, he boasted to the press reporters that he treated the match as a practice. Imagine, a player playing a worst innings and boasting about it?

Scholl boys would have scored better

What can you describe about this performance of Gavaskar? Can one say that he played like a school boy? No, even school boys would have played better. I can only say that Gavaskar played a filthy cricket, unfit for his supposed skills as a star opening batsman of India.

Gavaskar was jealous of Kapil Dev

Take the second case, his dropping Kapil Dev from the Kolkata test simply to deny Kapil Dev an entry in the record books of having played hundred test matches continuously. Gavaskar did this because he was jealous of Kapil Dev equalling his own record. As Gavaskar was the captain of Indian team and he wielded tremendous powers, he used this to drop Kapil Dev from the team. He was booed by the Kolkata crowd and he declared that he would never play in Eden Gardens once again. What were all these things? It was worse than school boys’ performance. Even school boys would have behaved better.

Dhoni much better than Gavaskar

Gavaskar’s contribution to record books is much more than his contribution to India’s victories. He has no business to comment about the present Indian team and its inspired captain M.S. Dhoni. Did Dhoni play the entire fifty overs and score 20 not out in the recent World Cup? Did Dhoni drop any player just for the pleasure of denying him a coveted record? Can Gavaskar answer these questions?

Gavaskar, a paid agent by the BCCI

No doubt, India faced defeats in the first two tests. That was because India’s star players like Zaheer Khan, Gambhir, Sehwag and others were injured. Moreover, England had performed well, taking advantage of its home conditions. James Anderson, who looked like a wild horse in Indian sub continental conditions during the World Cup in February, excelled, capturing the prized wicket of Sachin Tendulkar with a beauty of a ball. So, India’s loss to England, a professional side cannot be described as something out of ordinary. One cannot describe Indian team as a schoolboy team. And definitely, a player like Sunil Gavaskar cannot criticise India. After all, he is paid by the Indian Cricket Board a mouth-watering amount of Rs.3.6 crore per annum to speak in the commentator box and toe its official line.

Sharad Pawar involved?

By the way, why Indian Cricket Board is not giving opportunities to other cricketers in the commentator’s box? Why is it not offering lucrative money to players like Kapil Dev, Brijesh Patel and others as it is offering to only Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri? There should be some extraneous reasons for it and if one digs it wildly, one can unearth a financial scam. Skeletons will roll in the cupboard. Maybe, the finger may even point at Sharad Pawar.

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  1. Posted August 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    You don’t have to be qualified to make any assessment of something in sport. This isn’t medicine, it isn’t rocket science, and it’s plain for all to see that India have been comprehensively outplayed by a much better drilled, much better prepared England side. England have appeared much more professional.

    And in Gavaskar’s defense, he was actually just making a specific statement about the young bowlers and the lower-order when compared to Laxman and Dravid. He has a point – Even if it is just stating the obvious – as always.

  2. Gans
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    I do not follow cricket anymore, but I echo author’s sentiments. Yes, one doesn’t have to be qualified to comment or write about sports. Gavaskar serves as the best example!

    Gavaskar was a great talent, no doubt about that. Ramkey does not seem to question that. However, on numerous occasions on and off the ground, Gavaskar’s actions, decisions and comments have made it pretty obvious that he wasn’t a team player and was someone who cared more for individual records.

    Let’s face it. Ramkey’s accusations are legitimate. On what grounds did Gavaskar drop Kapil Dev for that match that the author refers to? If this was to happen in a country like Australia, the board would have taken severe action against Gavaskar. Also, that slowest innings he played was despicable. What a cowardly act and a waste of time!

    I think Ramkey has watched cricket with passion in the past and seems like someone who couldn’t put up with selfishness of a leader that affected the morale of the entire team. It appears to me that Gavaskar’s current comment has simply served as a catalyst for Ramkey to write about the atrocities that he had committed in the past. From that perspective, we need to thank Gavaskar for speaking out! :)

  3. Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I fully agree with Gans. My intention was not to degrade Gavaskar’s superb achievements. He is an Indian pride in cricket. But at the same time, Gavaskar was indisciplined and jealous with other cricketers like Kapil Dev.

  4. Krishanu
    Posted May 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Gavaskar has made some trouble-stirring comments,but commentators are there for that. Sometimes they do go overborad with their comments.

    But to question Gavaskar’s qualification is ridiculous. Gavaskar has been the monument for many Indian victories overseas.Not even a Pakistani will doubt Gavaskar’s qualification . It is extremely sad that an Indian is doing that now.

    Dhoni is much better than Gavaskar ?
    A BLASPHEMY . Dhoni has a very good team. Dhoni is also a very good batsman but does not even compare to Gavaskar.
    Dhoni wins , but we should be aware that he has a very good Indian side at his disposal.

    And Dhoni too plays politics.

    You can’t judge Gavaskar by one innings. A person doing so should stop commenting on cricket.We should doubt his qualifications to write on cricket.

    I do agree that Gavaskar has played politics, and I am from Kolkata itself. His refusal to play with Gopal Bose, a Bengali cricketer destroyed the Bose’s career.

    But please know what to criticise. PLS DON’T QUESTION Gavaskar’s qualification to question the performance of the Indian test team.

    And now we all now that Dhoni and Shewag are the best of friends(?)..Don’t we ? Stop making such baseless claims.

    This is a poorly directed atricle. .

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