XtraTime Web Desk: Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar takes on his former teammate Ravi Shastri on his claim of terming the present team as the best touring side in England in the last couple of decades.
A day after Ravi Shastri claimed that the current Indian team is the best touring squad in the last 15-20 years, former captain Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday said that most of the victories in the recent years have come in Sri Lanka and not in England or South Africa.
Ravi Shastri while addressing the media on Wednesday said, “I can’t see any other Indian team in the last 15-20 years that has had the same run in such a short time, and you have had some great players playing in those series. So the promise is there, and it’s just about getting tougher mentally. You have got to hurt when you lose matches because that’s when you look within and come out with the right kind of answers to combat such situations and get past the finishing line. One day you will if you believe.”
Responding to the statement, Gavaskar said teams in 1980s had won matches in England and West Indies. “In Sri Lanka, not too many Indian captains and teams have won. West Indies, England and South Africa, previous teams have won matches in the last 15-20 years. I think this was his [Ravi Shastri] view and perhaps only he can speak about it. What I can say is teams in 1980s have won in England and West Indies,” Gavaskar said while speaking with India Today on Thursday.
Gavaskar also said that despite giving India its first victory over South Africa, a series win over West Indies in 2005 and winning Test matches on English soil in 2007, Rahul Dravid gets very little credit for his leadership and his team’s performance. Continuing the attack on Shastri, the former Indian captain said, “I will not discount wins in Sri Lanka because they are tough to beat at home but when we talk of wins, it is in England, South Africa and Australia and India have won in England before but have never won a series in South Africa and Australia.”
Taking a dig at India’s failure in South Africa, earlier this year in January and now in England, Gavaskar asserted that the current squad has failed to live up to its potential. He believes that an overall assement on the team should be done based on individual performances and where the management went wrong. “I think that’s something [performance failure] that needs to be looked at by the end of the series. During the series, I understand the management saying that the team is still very good, which is to keep the morale up. There is still one Test to go. A real assessment has to be made on September 12, when the series ends,” he added.