Afghanistan v India, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 5, 2014

Why no Pujara and Pandey, asks Gavaskar

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sunil Gavaskar has slammed the Indian team management for not experimenting with the XI in Wednesday's dead rubber against Afghanistan in Mirpur, warning that it could breed complacency in the team.

Fast bowler Ishwar Pandey has been part of the ODI squad for the recent New Zealand tour and the Asia Cup, but hasn't got a look-in in either series despite India's listless performances. Middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who is in the Asia Cup squad, also hasn't added to the two ODI caps he earned in the low-profile Zimbabwe series last year.

"Very hard to understand, to be honest with you, it's baffling," Gavaskar said on Star Sports about India's decision to go in with an unchanged XI. "Some of the players have been playing non-stop, they need a bit of a break before the World T20 starts, the second thing is if you are not going to give the reserve players a chance, then when are they going to play."

Pujara has become an integral member of the Test side, and averages 58.92 in domestic one-dayers but has found it hard to make the ODI XI. "Are you worried that Cheteshwar Pujara will score runs so that your favourites who are not consistent might have to make way?" Gavaskar asked. "Are you worried that Ishwar Pandey will pick wickets, and again some of your favourite bowlers might not be certain of a place in the team, what are you worried about?"

Gavaskar also said the move will 'breed complacency' in the team. "The only thing that comes to my mind is that there is that worry and there's probably a fear that if these guys do well, what happens to our favourites in the team.

"This is what breeds complacency, guys know, kuch bhi karoon, team main hoon (whatever I do, I'm in the team)."

At the toss, Virat Kohli had defended the decision. "It is important the team gets confidence from playing one unit, you have to be patient with this side," Kohli said. "We are in a transition phase as far as one-days are concerned, we have shown great fight in this tournament, people have to be patient with us, we surely have the talent, but we will have to wait for the experience to come."

India are already knocked out of the Asia Cup after final-over losses to Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and are playing their final league match against Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ladlesh on March 12, 2014, 12:29 GMT

    1 rahane 2 dhawan 3 kohli 4 ashwin 5 yuvraj 6 dhoni 7 rohit sharma 8 jadeja 9 zahir khan 10 mohamed shami 11 bhuwneshwar kumar

    reason why ashwin should bat at num 4 bcaz he is a good hooker and also rotates the strike very well by playing drives down the ground and guiding bowl towards the thirdman

    rohitsharma at num 7 bcaz than he would no more be confused, he would be more clear about his shot making and running between the wickets

    when top order fails to perform and in pressure situation dhoni should be moved up before yuvraj

    rahane and dhawan both are classy offside players and good runner between the wickets together they make the worlds best opening pair

  • Android on March 9, 2014, 23:40 GMT

    Dhawan,Pujara, Kohli,Rahane ,Rayadu,Dhoni,Binny,Jadeja,Ashwin,Shami,Zaheer.This is the best XI for ODI & T20.

  • Dummy4 on March 8, 2014, 22:35 GMT

    Gavasker is 100% right, totally agree if they perform some of the players has to go. It's a shame and not fairness thought.

  • Dummy4 on March 8, 2014, 11:14 GMT

    Gavaskar is completely right. Kohli should have given the chance to both Pujara and Pandey. How do you know that they are not better than the current selection unless you try them? I fear that the Indians keep selecting the wrong captain.

  • TR on March 8, 2014, 0:42 GMT

    2 things unexpected for me.

    One, Gavaskar saying openly against team selection/politics. Was he not pushing for RGSharma's place in the team and supporting ISharma as unlucky bowler all these years?

    Two, Kholi following exactly what Dhoni would have done in terms of team selection or handling of bowlers in the match. It looked as though Kholi was getting instructions directly from Dhoni.

  • aziz on March 7, 2014, 15:46 GMT

    There was very little difference among the three top teams for the Asia Cup. India lost because Dhoni was not playing and Karthik dropped tow important catches. The difference was also the flamboyant innings of Shahid Afridi, he is not likely to reapeat such betting in every match.

  • Nish on March 7, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    Both MSD & Kholii will stick with the same failures + team composition & not give opportunities to other squad players - maybe for the reasons given by Gavaskar - even in a dead rubber match or where the team is on a long losing streak. With such a policy, you can even see first choice players like Shami looking so jaded & prone to picking up injuries due to being overbowled all the time. It really is a joke - is it any wonder we have kept on being whitewashed & humiliated on all recent overseas tours. Sadly can't forsee anything changing soon for the better & so chances are that both England & Australia will wallop us again in both Tests + ODI's when we tour both these countries later this year.

  • Dummy on March 7, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    ind failed to score 250 against the same Pakistan attack which was blasted away by Bangladesh for 320 .ind need players like pujara to play big innings like the way he does in domestic one dayers

  • Android on March 7, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    memorizing a match against srilanka t 20 game...almost lost ..yusuf n irfan came on crease and destroyed lanka very badly..never seen such match after that..dhoni feared of that power hitting and taking all focus of country......

  • san on March 7, 2014, 1:51 GMT

    The question may be ill timed.. but is the correct question... I totally agree.. that this question should have been asked in the SA tour.. when IND could barely put bat to ball....Rohit played and missed 20 odd balls to steyn & co, that too in an ODI..........The question about Pujara should have been asked then.... samething.. against NZ a No 8th ranked team... when IND struggled.. especially in pitches where world cup is going to happen in less than a year.... the question should have been asked then.............Well I kept asking the question about Pujara in ODIs.. on each and every IND game... for the last one year minimum....

    Even though ill-timed.... Gavaskar at last asked a valid question....and it was direct...and I liked that fact....

    Better late than never.... I guess... all IND not mind if Pujara finds place at least now.. than never... same with the question.. better late and ill-timed than NEVER>..

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