Former Indian batting legend, Sunil Gavaskar, has expressed disapproval of the Indian selectors’ decision to snub youngsters in the recent Test series against West Indies. Gavaskar believes it was an opportunity missed to give promising youngsters a chance to prove themselves at the highest level. In his column for a leading English daily, he questioned the selectors’ reluctance to test the younger talent against a weaker West Indies side instead of opting for an experienced squad led by Rohit Sharma.
Sunil Gavaskar questioned the rationale behind including powerful players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the Test series against West Indies, considering the opposition’s relatively weak bowling attack. He suggested that this would have been an ideal chance to try out young talents and assess their abilities in the game’s longer format. Gavaskar expressed disappointment in the selectors’ decision, pointing out that the performances of established players against West Indies offered little new insight.
“The runs scored by Rohit and Kohli against this West Indies attack begs the question, what did the selectors learn that they didn’t know already? Wouldn’t it have been better to try out some youngsters and see how they take to Test cricket, or is it that the selectors don’t want any challenge from the younger lot to the established players,” the cricketer-turned-commentator wrote.
The legendary cricketer hoped that the newly appointed Chief Selector, Ajit Agarkar, would bring a fresh perspective to the team-building strategy. Gavaskar believes that Agarkar’s leadership could potentially lead to a different approach in selecting players for the future, and he called for a more proactive approach in grooming young talents for the national team.
Reflecting on India’s past performances, Gavaskar drew attention to the team’s reputation as the “bridesmaid but not the bride” in cricketing events. He implied that India often finishes as runners-up or second-best, highlighting the need for a change in the team’s approach to becoming more consistent winners on the global stage.
“Now that Ajit Agarkar has come on board as the Chairman of the selection committee let’s see if there is going to be any change in the approach to building a team for the future or if it’s going to be the same old story of the Indian team being the bridesmaid but not the bride,” Gavaskar further added.
Despite Gavaskar’s criticism of the selectors’ decisions, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli performed exceptionally well in the Test series against West Indies. Both batsmen made significant contributions, with Rohit scoring 240 runs and Kohli tallying 197 runs in just three innings. They were the standout performers for India, alongside Yashasvi Jaiswal, who scored 266 runs in the series.
India secured a 1-0 series victory against West Indies, comfortably winning the first Test by an innings and 141 runs. The second Test ended in a draw due to rain on the final day, preventing India from achieving a clean sweep.