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Sunil Gavaskar Backs Rohit Sharma’s Call For Hunger And Loyalty In Test Cricket
By CricShots - Feb 27, 2024 2:31 pm
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In the wake of India’s triumph in the fourth Test against England, former captain Sunil Gavaskar has echoed the sentiments of current skipper Rohit Sharma on the essential ingredient of ‘hunger’ for success in Test cricket. The convergence of views between the two has sparked discussions, with both emphasizing the significance of commitment and loyalty towards Indian cricket.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma

During the post-match press conference, Rohit Sharma articulated, “Test cricket is the toughest format. And if you want success and want to excel in this tough format, then you need that hunger. It is very important. We will give opportunity only to players who have that hunger. Jinko bhookh nahi hai, unko dekh ke hi pata chal jata hai (You come to know easily the players who don’t have that hunger, or players who don’t want to stay here and play this format. We come to know that).”

Sunil Gavaskar supported Rohit’s stance, emphasizing that players owe their success, fame, and recognition to Indian cricket. He echoed the sentiment that those aspiring to play Test cricket should exhibit commitment and loyalty to the country, agreeing with Rohit’s assertion.

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“The ones who want to play Test cricket, you look at them. I’ve been saying this for years. The players are what they are because of Indian cricket. The stage of life and career they are at is all because of Indian cricket. The money, fame, and recognition that they have got is because of Indian cricket. So you’ve got to show some loyalty towards Indian cricket,” remarked Sunil Gavaskar on Sports Tak.

 

He further added, “And if you don’t show that for whatever reasons and say ‘I won’t play, won’t play that,’ Rohit is absolutely right in saying the ones who have the hunger, the ones who are willing to put the effort, will be given more opportunities going ahead. If this is the attitude of the selectors, then it will be good for Indian cricket. We’ve seen many players pick and choose, this shouldn’t happen.”

Although neither skipper named specific players, Gavaskar indirectly addressed the absence of centrally contracted cricketers Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2024, suggesting a lack of hunger and commitment.

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“Maybe they have decided not to play Test cricket for India. They don’t have the ability, they don’t have the hunger like Rohit said. So which form of domestic cricket they didn’t play? The Ranji Trophy. It is the longer format with red balls. So you can’t do anything,” he added.

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar also proposed a change in the schedule, urging the BCCI to begin the Ranji season in October and conclude it by December. He recommended organizing white-ball tournaments afterward, giving practice to IPL players and placing a renewed emphasis on Test cricket.

“I would request BCCI to start the Ranji season in October and finish it in December. Then you hold the white-ball tournaments like the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s. This will also give practice to the players playing in the IPL. From December to February India play Test matches either at home or abroad, so if the Ranji Trophy is hosted before that, then the young players will also be ready,” the 74-year-old added.