Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has made a huge statement about Team India’s chances of winning the ongoing T20 World Cup in Australia.
According to the legendary batter, despite the absence of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, the current Indian cricket team led by Rohit Sharma has created a positive buzz about it around the world and is among the front-runners to win the prestigious tournament Down Under.
Sunil Gavaskar also highlighted that though Team India has failed to achieve much success in multinational events, they have remained a strong side in white-ball cricket and have won numerous bilateral series against strong sides like South Africa, Australia, and England.
That’s why he reckons that India will be a tough team to beat in the T20 World Cup in Australia and will very much be in contention to end their 15-year trophy drought in the elite competition. India last won the T20 World Cup under the great MS Dhoni‘s leadership in 2007 in South Africa.
“One thing for sure. If the Indian team does not win this T20 World Cup it won’t be for lack of preparation. Not only have they gone to Australia almost three weeks before their first game of the tournament, they are also playing practice games against good sides that should get them ready for the tournament. The old saying, ‘if you fail to prepare then prepare to fail’ will not apply to this Indian team as, apart from these games in Australia, they also played six T20 matches at home and won four out of those to show that they are tuning in nicely for the big event,” Sunil Gavaskar wrote in his column for Indian newspaper Mid-Day.
“India’s performance in the white ball bilaterals has always been good, be it at home or overseas, but it’s in the multilateral events that they have been stumbling. In the past it’s been because they have come cold into the event. But that isn’t the case this time around and that’s why, with a terrific blend of youth and experience, there’s optimism among Indian cricket fans that the Cup should be coming home. Yes, the other teams have also been playing practice games and that should hold them in good stead, but there’s a buzz about this Indian team despite the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja,” Sunil Gavaskar added.
“The T20 game can turn on its head in a matter of deliveries so the best of teams can flounder and that’s why it’s hard to call any team the favourite. The host country are also the defending champions so they obviously will have the slight edge that familiarity with conditions and pitches give any home team plus the crowd support. The Indian team is blessed that it gets support anywhere they play and so even overseas they have tremendous cheer from their fans. That can also be pressure, but then, what is international sport where the best of one country play the best of the other and what else is that but pressure and more pressure,” the legendary batter elaborated.
Besides rating Team India’s chances in the T20 World Cup, Sunil Gavaskar also shared his views on the controversial subject of “obstructing the field in cricket”.
“Cricket by the way has got a new word in its dictionary, Wadeing. Any player who from now on tries to obstruct the fielder will be guilty of Wadeing. Jos Buttler, the England captain, claimed he was focused on the ball which was up in the air and so didn’t see what happened and so didn’t appeal. But it should have been the umpires who should have been proactive and sent the batsman packing. Do they wait for an appeal if the batsman is bowled? So why wait for an appeal to be made when clearly the law was flouted. They have the benefit of the TV umpire who can watch the action in slow motion and take a call. One wonders what the media from the old powers had to say about the blatant obstruction? Clearly, they had nothing much to say because it was a match between two old friends, but imagine if it had been an Asia batsman doing what Wade did? All hell would have broken loose and the spirit of cricket phrase would have been bandied about freely,” Sunil Gavaskar stated.
Let’s face it, when it comes to a matter of winning every team would do anything to win and not worry about the spirit of cricket. The real spirit of cricket is when batsmen leave the crease when they know they are out, bowlers and fielders don’t appeal when they know the batsman isn’t out. Fielders don’t appeal for a catch they know has bounced before it gets into their hands,” he concluded.