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Sunil Gavaskar asks for ‘away wins’

India has a poor record in away Test series.

By Aditya Pratap Arya -

India has won this ‘Test of bests’ against Australia but Indian great Sunil Gavaskar feels that overseas wins should be the next target for Team India.

India won the Dharamshala Test and regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as well. Gavaskar feels the satisfaction of this victory as ‘completely different’.

“That's (winning overseas) what we always want to do, that's the test we set ourselves as players. We are familiar with home conditions. It is great that we do well at home, it is pretty much expected. But winning overseas is a completely different satisfaction. It's a greater satisfaction that in conditions that you are not used to, you have done well,” he said.

Visitors were very much in this match when proceedings went underway on day three, but soon they it all went wrong. India just managed a lead of 32 runs before dismissing Aussies very cheaply in the second essay. Hosts were set a target of 106, which they achieved while having eight wickets in hand.

Gavaskar said “Look at Umesh Yadav, what a fantastic season he has had. He played 12 out of 13 matches and the aggression that he showed in these 12 matches has been a crucial factor in India winning the three series.”

“To have Ishant (Sharma), to have Mohammad Shami who did not play is this game is a huge plus. You have Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav doing the job, so in future, if you want to rotate these bowlers, to give them just a little bit of break, India has the pace bowling reserves as well. That really is good news particularly with India going to play overseas,” he added.

Also, former skipper praised Rahane for his captaincy in the absence of Virat Kohli as latter was injured and didn’t play in this match. “Virat is one of the best batsmen in the world and he is not there and you still insist on going with five batsmen and five bowlers, I think it is fantastic,” Gavaskar said.

“The way he (Rahane) handled the situation particularly after Australia were 140 for 1 on Day 1, the bowling changes he made at that stage actually showed what a sharp cricketing brain he has. He has joined five Mumbai players who have won their first match as captains.”

Cheteshwar Pujara is the unsung hero of India’s success in this home season as he recorded the most runs for any Indian batsman during home Test season. Also, KL Rahul was instrumental with the bat throughout this series as he notched up six fifties in seven innings against Australia.

The 67-year-old said “Occupation of the crease is more important because it is a five-day game and he does it to perfection. The Indian dressing room knows how big a player he is. Rahul (Dravid) was called the 'Wall' but I will call him (Pujara) 'Dewar'.”

“KL Rahul has got huge batting talent. His defense is impeccable, he has got all the shots in the book but one thing I would want him to do is to convert those 50s and 60s into 100s. If he gets his shot selection right, particularly in the 50s and 60s, he can score big runs.”

Meanwhile, Australian skipper Steve Smith admitted his mistake throughout this series and apologised for them. Gavaskar applauded this action by Smith while saying “Steven Smith is a big man because for him to accept he has made a mistake just shows what a big man he is. I am so happy he has come and done that.”

“We all make mistakes, we all get carried away by the heat of the moment but to accept it like he has done is a huge thing. My respect for Steve Smith as a batsman is huge and my respect for him as a person has gone even higher,” he concluded.

Aditya Pratap Arya

One life, One love. Cricket