Former Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar has urged the fans to be patient with Indian national cricket team, by citing that they are young and will definitely get better with time. He also shot down on the criticism directed at Indian players’ inability to play quality pace bowling attack, resulting in their last couple of losses against England in Tests. He stated that there is “an element of jealousy” that has resulted in such biased opinions.

Commenting on the transitions faced by Indian team in the recent years Gavaskar said, “The team is in transition as some of the best players in the world have retired a few years back. It is difficult for these youngsters to fill into their big shoes. We need to be a little bit patient with them. I agree that India has been struggling in Test format for some time. But look, with those some of the best players in the world, India still lost 0-4 to England and then with identical margin to Australia in 2011. So, I will not just point a finger on these current players.”

Explaining why the Indian batsmen are finding it difficult to negotiate off-spinner Moeen Ali, he said: “Apart from the one delivery which dismissed Virat Kohli, I would not say that Moeen had bowled some extraordinary deliveries or which turned a lot. It was just that the Indians wanted to score runs off him as they were not getting boundaries from the other end from the likes of James Anderson. They thought they could score some easy runs from Moeen. If you are not getting runs from one end, you naturally try to get runs from the other. It happens in cricket and players may get out in doing that. That had happened to the Indians.”

On the issue of all round criticism aimed at Team India, he opined “India has now become a cricket team to be picked on. There is a certain element of jealousy here. India now controls the game financially and so people want to bring down the Indian team.”

Answering the query as to why the English players were spared from ridicule after they were bounced out during the Ashes and in the ongoing series against India, Gavaskar said: “When India won the second Test at the Lord’s, England players were struggling to play short-pitched deliveries. England players were hit on the helmet. The same happened when Mitchell Johnson of Australia bowled in the Ashes. But nobody wrote that England players cannot play short-pitched deliveries. So can one conclude that Indians struggled to play spin on the basis of Moeen’s performance? I will criticise the Indian players when needed but I will not also criticize them unnecessarily. They belong to my cricketing fraternity.” 

    Established sports writer across various global platforms

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