India’s first match against Pakistan in the Super 12 encounter of the 20-20 World Cup is slated to be played on Sunday at Melbourne Cricket Stadium. Interestingly, a lot of players who are likely to be part of the playing XI tomorrow, missed the optional training session on Friday.
The likes of Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, KL Rahul, and a few others didn’t show up at the training session. Skipper Rohit Sharma, along with Dinesh Karthik, M Shami, M Siraj, Deepak Hooda, and Axar Patel, however, were sweating it out ahead of the blockbuster encounter.
The fact that most of the senior players took rest didn’t go down well with legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar. Speaking to India Today, Gavaskar expressed his displeasure on players missing out the training session.
“I don’t know what it tells you but it’s something that I don’t agree with. I don’t agree with it for the simple reason that, at the start of the tournament, when you had your match (warm-up match) washed out, when you have come to Melbourne and had a day off, and then the next day, you opt not to practice?” Gavaskar told India Today.
“At the end of the day, those who didn’t come out for practice can turn out to be match-winners. But you want a rhythm going as a team. You want to see a sense of purpose. He added.
Gavaskar highlighted the fact the authority to allow the players to give rest or not should only lie with the captain and the coach and not the player himself.
“Giving an option is something I believe only the captain and the coach should be doing. Say, if you scored a hundred in the previous game and you have a small niggle, the captain and the coach can give you the option of not practicing and say ‘if you don’t want to come to practice, it’s fine’. Similarly with a bowler, who has bowled maybe 20-30 overs and feeling a sore shoulder or something, then the captain and the coach can give that bowler the option of not coming for training.”
“At the start of the tournament? In the middle of the tournament, you are on a roll, you have done really well, you give everybody a break. You go to a cinema, go wherever to take their mind off cricket. But at the start of the tournament, optional practice?