Legendary Indian cricketer, Sunil Gavaskar on Friday said he is disappointed as Team India had an optional training session two days ahead of their high-octane T20 World Cup 2022 opener against Pakistan in Melbourne. Gavaskar questioned the decision as there is forecast for rain on Saturday and Sunday in Melbourne. Speaking to India Today, Sunil Gavaskar said India should make a statement at the start of the World Cup by getting into a rhythm in their training sessions.
India captain Rohit Sharma led the optional training session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday. On the other hand, all the Pakistan players turned out for their training session on Friday with the Pakistan Cricket Board sharing clips of their intense practice session.
Sunil Gavaskar questioned, “I don’t agree with it for the simple reason that, at the start of the tournament, when you had your match (warm-up match) washed out, when you have come to Melbourne and had a day off, and then the next day, you opt not to practice? At the end of the day, those who didn’t come out for practice can turn out to be match-winners. But you want a rhythm going as a team. You want to see a sense of purpose.”
He further added, “Giving an option is something I believe only the captain and the coach should be doing. Say, if you scored a hundred in the previous game and you have a small niggle, the captain and the coach can give you the option of not practicing and say ‘if you don’t want to come to practice, it’s fine. Similarly with a bowler, who has bowled maybe 20-30 overs and feeling a sore shoulder or something, then the captain and the coach can give that bowler the option of not training.”
Sunil Gavaskar opined that a team can have an optional session in the middle of the tournament to take their mind off cricket, but at the start of the tournament it can’t be justified as the team might practice on the eve of the game, but maybe that’ll not be enough.
As the legendary batter pointed out, India’s final warm-up match against New Zealand was washed out without a ball being bowled due to rain in Brisbane on October 19. Unlike other teams, India did not play competitive bilateral series closer to the World Cup and instead opted for a preparatory camp in Perth.