Sunil Gavaskar Slams Rohit Sharma; Claims “Team not getting together”

Rohit Sharma(Image: BCCI)
Rohit Sharma(Image: BCCI)

Former Indian legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar slams Rohit Sharma and claimed that lack of team bonding is crucial for the team not performing well in recent tournaments.

Sunil Gavaskar Slams Rohit Sharma

Sunil Gavaskar’s statement came after Ashwin’s statement regarding team India’s bonding issues in recent days.

In a recent interview to IE, Ashwin said that ‘earlier, teammates used to be friends, now we are just colleagues’. Taking a cue from the same, former Indian skipper and great Sunil Gavaskar threw his thoughts on the statement.

Sunil Gavaskar

“It’s a sad thing because you should be able to get together after play ends and maybe not talk about the game but talk about music, maybe talk about the films you like, maybe talk about your interest in space. But if that is not what is happening, that is disappointing. Having said that, the new thing that started 20 years back or longer is that every player gets a single room. That too can be a factor …”

India has been poor in major international tournaments off late. India lost in the top 4 in Asia Cup 2022 and then got out of the semis in the T20 World Cup last year. This year India was humiliated by Australia in the WTC 2023 Finals, which has certainly raised questions about the captaincy of Rohit Sharma.

Rohit Sharma and his team also lost an away ODI series against Bangladesh and followed it up with an ODI series defeat against Australia on home soil.

“I expected more from him (Rohit). In India it is different, but when you do well overseas that is really the test. That is where he has been a little disappointing. Even in the T20 format, with all the experience of the IPL, hundreds of matches as captain, with a mix of best IPL players not being able to get to the finals has been disappointing,” said Gavaskar.

Gavaskar Talks on WTC 2023 Final Loss

The former Indian skipper also wanted to know if a proper review of India’s losses was done by the selectors and BCCI.

According to Gavaskar, the Indian skipper arrived late to the party. It seemed as if he came unprepared because by the time he realised his mistake and changed tactics, it was too late.

WTC 2023 final

“They should be asking questions, ‘Why did you field first?’ Okay, it was explained at the toss that it was overcast and all. The question after that should be, ‘You didn’t know about Travis Head’s weakness against the short ball?’ Why was the bouncer employed only when he had scored 80 runs? You know, the moment Head came into bat, in the commentary box, we had Ricky Ponting saying, ‘Bounce him, bounce him.’ Everyone knew about it but we didn’t try.”

Gavaskar on Rohit’s Statement on WTC 2023 Final Defeat

After the WTC loss, Rohit Sharma spoke about the lack of preparation and how in an ideal world a team would need 20 days of preparation.

Shubman Gill dismissed for 13 runs in WTC 2023 final vs Australia

Gavaskar did not buy that argument. “What kind of preparation are we talking about? Now they have gone to the West Indies. You have the example of the World Test Championship before you. Are you playing any matches? So what is this talk about 20-25 days? … When you talk about preparation, be genuine about it.

Go 15 days before, play two warm-up matches. The main guys can rest, but the fringe players might be actually challenging those who are not doing well. He does not get an opportunity to show that he is good enough.”

Gavaskar Blames Senior Players For India’s Downfall

Gavaskar puts the blame on the senior players’ reluctance as they are assured of their spots.

“The truth is the main guys do not want to go early. Because they know that come what may, they will get selected. And when you go early they will talk about the workload. You call yourself the fittest team in the world or fitter than the early generations then how do you break down so soon? How do you have a workload issue when you play a 20-over game?”

The first batsman to cross 10,000 Test runs also raised the question of accountability for coaches. While batting coach Rathour has continued from the previous Virat Kohli- Ravi Shastri regime, bowling coach Mhambrey started his stint under head coach Dravid.

“If the batters are making the same mistakes over and over again, you need to ask what has happened with your technique. How have you tried to improve the batter? Have you tried to tell him, maybe take a different guard. Don’t take a leg-stump guard, take a middle and off stump guard.

“I remember once calling Virender Sehwag out of the blue. He had not been scoring too many runs. I told him, ‘Viru, just try the off-stump guard’.

So he asked, ‘Why, Sunny bhai?’ So I told him, ‘Look, you aren’t known for great footwork. What is happening is, sometimes when you are getting out, you are reaching out for the delivery and it makes things difficult for you. So, maybe if you take the off-stump guard, you straight away know that the ball is outside the off-stump’. That is where the coach can come in with his inputs.”

Currently, the Indian cricket team is scheduled to play 2 Tests, 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is in West Indies. The increase in T20I games might raise the eyebrows of many cricket fans but BCCI might plan to have an overview of the West Indies’ playing condition as a preparation for the T20 World Cup 2024 scheduled to play in  West Indies and United States.

CHECKWI vs IND 2023 Live Streaming – India Tour of West Indies