New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Indian Test Cricket captain Virat Kohli had said that it was the lack of practice matches during the buffer period before World Test Championship final in England that led to India losing out on the inaugural WTC title. Sunil Gavaskar, one of the finest Indian batsmen of all time, tells Dainik Jagran that if he was the captain, he would have demanded more number of practice matches during the current period in the run up to the Test series set to begin from Wednesday.

India will play against England in a five-match test series from Wednesday onwards. Former Team India captain and batsman Sunil Gavaskar believes India is likely to have an edge against England in the upcoming test series.

Asked if he feels that the Indian squad is ready to take on the hosts in their home grounds, Gavaskar said that he feels that Indian should have played three or four more practice matches in England to accalamatise themselves to the English conditions. “Intra-squad games are more like net practice matches,” Gavaskar said, adding that in such games team’s own pacers have to restrain themselves to prevent injuring their fellow teammate.

Gavaskar says that he is finding England’s side quite weak since their match winning player Ben Stokes won’t be able to contribute to the team after having taken his name off from the team to play against India. The star pacer Jofra Archer too won’t play against India.

Asked about young batsman Prithvi Shaw’s comeback in Team India, Gavaskar points out that Shaw has performed outstandingly well in domestic cricket but all of it was with White Ball. In England everything will be played with red, he says. “If Prithvi does well in Test with his improved techniques, what else would be better than that for Indian Cricket?”

Ben (Stokes) should speak on the nature of mental illness he is going through: Gavaskar

Star English Cricketer Ben Stokes took his name off the team citing mental illness concerns. Gavaskar says that if Ben had opened up more on the nature of mental illness he’s going through, then the other players going through the same phase would have found some help. He adds that further opening up on the nature of illness would have helped other players going through the same phase because then the others feel that even big players in the game go through such phase.

“If he had explained that whether he is burdened by expectations or the fear of ending up unsuccessful; if he had opened up more then that would have helped many other players going through similar phase,” Gavaskar says.

Watch the full interview

Posted By: Mukul Sharma