Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has criticised India’s tour planning following the Virat Kohli-led side’s another poor batting display in the first innings of the second Test at Lord’s.
India had lost the first Test by 31 runs in Birmingham where they failed to chase down a 194-run target set by England.
Indian batsmen’s poor form continued in the ongoing second Test and they were bowled out for 107, with only Ravichandran Ashwin (29) and captain Kohli (23) scoring in 20s.
Gavaskar, speaking to Aajtak, said the Indian cricket team has simply refused to learn from their mistakes.
“I had said this in January during the South Africa series, that we will have to prepare for England better. There should be matches in the fourteen days between limited-overs and Test series. There is also a gap between the third and fourth Test of eight days that’s when we should have a three-day practice game.
“If you are playing at home and make mistakes, there is still room for a comeback. But overseas, whether it is South Africa or England, you have to work that much harder,” he said.
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India’s only practice match in England was reduced from a four-day to a three-day affair. India were scheduled to take on Essex at Chelmsford from July 25 to 28 but India reduced the practice match by one day.
On their tour of South Africa earlier in the year, India scrapped their warm-up match because the team management thought it would be a better idea to spend more time preparing at the nets. However, India lost the first two Tests in Cape Town and Centurion before winning the third Test on a dodgy pitch in Johannesburg.
Without naming the Committee of Administrators (CoA), Gavaskar said the fluid situation in BCCI operations has not helped matters. “These are decisions BCCI should have taken. The problem here is currently in BCCI no one knows who is there to take decisions,” he said.
Gavaskar, who has held the BCCI top post in an interim capacity in the past, suggested the BCCI should have looked for an outside perspective in tour planning.
“These decisions should have been left to Cricket Advisory Committee [Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman], which it appears is a disbanded unit because no one is asking them anything. You can’t rely on team opinion alone because they may have their own reasons. You also need an outside perspective,” he observed.
Gavaskar has urged the team to push for a practice game during the eight-day gap between third and fourth Tests.
“I could have understood you wanted to take a break between third and fourth Test match because you have had three intense matches but when you are losing, you need to play these matches. When you have an eighteen-member squad, seven of your players are not playing any matches. Let them at least play. Also four or five others who are out of form can get a chance to work on their game.
“It can happen even now. If you ask the ECB to get a county to play with you, there can still be a practice match between two Tests when there is a break,” he said.
The third Test between India and England will be played at Nottingham from August 18 while the fourth from August 30 at Southampton.