India's Middle-Order Missed a Great Opportunity - Sunil Gavaskar

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India vs New Zealand 2019: India’s Middle-Order Missed a Great Opportunity – Sunil Gavaskar 

India vs New Zealand 2019: India’s Middle-Order Missed a Great Opportunity – Sunil Gavaskar
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The former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar feels that the Indian middle-order batsmen missed a great opportunity at Seddon Park on Thursday (January 31). However, he remarked India’s batting collapse during India vs New Zealand 2019 Hamilton ODI was just a bad day at the office.

The visiting side India came to play the penultimate ODI after already securing the five-match series by leading it 3-0 in the five-match series with two to go. Talking about the fourth ODI at Hamilton, the senior wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni missed the second consecutive game in this series. Meanwhile, the Indian skipper Virat Kohli has taken rest from the remaining matches of this tour.

After losing the toss, the visiting side was bowled out on 92 runs – to mark India’s seventh-lowest ODI total. None of the Indian batsmen reached the 20-run mark in that innings as Yuzvendra Chahal (18*) scored the highest runs for India in particular innings.

As the top-order lost returned to the hut in no time, Gavaskar felt that it was an excellent opportunity for the middle-order batsmen to steady the ship, but they failed to utilise that.

The Indian cricket legend told India Today, “Big time opportunity missed for Kedar Jadhav and even for someone like Shubman Gill – a newcomer batting at three. Opportunity missed as once the openers have been dismissed early, it gives you forty odd minutes to play. Sometimes you come in with the opener and Virat Kohli is batting with 30-40 overs and what chance do you get to a big total for yourself and the team. 

“You get what… 10 overs, 15 overs. But in a situation like this, when both the openers are back in the pavilion within the first 10 overs, it was a terrific opportunity for all these guys. They missed out,” he added.

India’s ODI top-order batting failure is a not a regular occurring at present. The batsman at the top generally dominate in the current scenario and provide the crucial starts to the team.

Gavaskar on Gill and Rayudu:

Gill
Shubman Gill scored just nine runs in his first international games. Photo Credit: Web.

In the absence of Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill made his international debut during the Hamilton ODI where he scored just nine runs.

Gavaskar feels that Gill might feel disturbed after one Trent Boult’s sensational delivery hit on his helmet. The legend believes that Gill deserves a few more opportunities before the team management decides to go, other way around.

Gavaskar said, “Even for the time Gill was there, he showed that he had the ability to play. Anybody can get out when the ball is moving around but he stuck around for a bit. Yes, he was probably a bit disturbed by that blow on the helmet, but that can happen. I think he is too good a player that we must not be thinking in terms of dropping him straight away. We should be giving him a few more opportunities.”

Gavaskar also feels that the No.4 senior batsman Ambati Rayudu should’ve taken responsibility at the behest. However, the 33-year-old right-handed batsman Rayudu failed to open his account in that game.

Rayudu reported for bowling action
Ambati Rayudu scored a duck in the Hamilton ODI. Photo credit: Getty Images

Gavaskar added, “That is probably his (Rayudu) preferred option of tackling a situation. It didn’t work. There was a lot of overs to go. There was almost 40 overs to go. With the two most experienced batsmen back in the pavilion, may he as senior player should have showed a little more patience.”

A bad day at the office: Gavaskar

Indian cricket team against New Zealand after the end of the Hamilton ODI. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Later, Gavaskar claimed that he doesn’t worry about India’s rare failure in the batting department. He remarked that performance as a one-off.

He said, “I think this just one of those days that can happen to any team. You can have a bad day at the office and that is exactly what happened today to this Indian team. I don’t think I will be overly worried about what happened today.

The No.2 ranked ODI side India is currently in a great form. Since past three years, India lost the two back-to-back ODIs for only once.

In the last two consecutive years (2017 and 2018), India maintained their 70 percent match-winning records in a year.

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