ICC World Twenty20 2010 May 14, 2010

Send Indian team to NCA - Gavaskar

Cricinfo staff

Sunil Gavaskar has come down hard on India's shortcomings against the short ball during the World Twenty20 in the West Indies, suggesting they train at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore to rectify their difficulties. For the second time in succession, India bowed out of a World Twenty20 without registering a win in a single Super Eights game, making it six such losses in a row since England last year.

India won both their group games but lost to Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka in the second stage. Besides their difficulties in tackling bouncers - a weakness exploited by their opponents - India were ordinary in terms of their fielding and running between the wickets.

"The guys who have been found to be uncomfortable against the short ball should be sent to the NCA, where they will be able to practice against the short ball, either through a bowling machine or maybe with some of the younger bowlers bowling to them from say 18 to 16 yards," Gavaskar told the news channel CNN-IBN. "They are under contract with the BCCI so nobody can actually claim that they need a break they don't need a break if they haven't performed, they need to go to the NCA and hone their skills against the short ball."

Several other former India players criticized the team's performance, saying it was not adequately prepared to succeed in a tournament where the quality of cricket was considerably higher than the IPL. MS Dhoni, the captain, said the constant traveling associated with the IPL and it's after parties took a toll on the body.

There was just a five-day gap between the IPL final and the start of the World Twenty20, giving the players barely enough rest, but Gavaskar, a member of the IPL's governing council, didn't blame the IPL for India's performance.

"If that was the case then Sri Lanka would not have been in the semi-final, or England and Australia. A lot of Australian players were in the IPL so I don't think that is an issue at all," he said. "It's just the fact that T20 is a format where you have got to be good on the day and if you are not good on your day, you lose. I don't think much should be read into the fact that the players were playing IPL, if anything playing in the IPL meant that they had lot more practice than the other teams."

Former players like Madan Lal and Mohammad Azharuddin felt Dhoni was making excuses by referring to the IPL parties and Gavaskar concurred. "I don't think that is an excuse at all. I think that is a very poor excuse used by people to say that IPL parties were the reason for the team not performing here. Tell me one thing, there were no parties here were they? So how can you say that the team performed badly in the Caribbean because of parties in India?"

Continuing on the fall-out of India's exit, Gavaskar chose not to comment on coach Gary Kirsten's alleged statement that he was fitter than some of the team members, saying he would rather wait for Kirsten to communicate his thoughts officially to the BCCI. However, Gavaskar threw his weight behind Dhoni, with the Indian media speculating on his future as captain of India in the limited-overs formats.

"MS Dhoni has done the best that he could. I still think he is the best bet as far as captaining the country is concerned. He has not quite had the luck he had when he had started with the India captaincy."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mohan on May 18, 2010, 2:59 GMT

    Indian team is highly overrated ... only in India. Yes, we cherish heroes, dramas and wins. So be it!

    BTW, the players are exhibiting their fighting spirit at wrong places.

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2010, 23:32 GMT

    good god, teams will lose sometimes. no need for such harsh criticism as if they did something criminal.

  • Ash on May 17, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    Indian Cricketers need to fix their fundamentals, specially high rising balls. But BCCI need major changes too. BCCI earned 1 billion dollars fro IPL, and is ready to sacrifice Indian cricketers to please IPL owners. IPL owners want to promote their products like alcohol, airlines for free, and hence need the IPL parties. People like Mehr Rampal supply alcohol and women, to cricketers, for 6 weeks, during IPL late night parties! Do you expect the players to stop alcohol, and be ready for the World Cup immediately after the IPL? The IPL owners, ex-players, media earn millions from IPL parties and are pro-IPL parties, but what about the poor cricketers themselves?

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2010, 16:55 GMT

    there is no need to make indian pitches bouoncy.....lets not be stupid...do the other teams around the world change their pitches to turn when the loos in India....its all rubbish....go to NCA, nd if there is faclity to play in bouncy tracks then do it....the more you practice the better u play......its all in individulal hands....as SG says get them all to NAC and make them work hard....they are played to play for the Country and they are ment to represent cream of cricketers in the country..so no excuseeessssss

  • Viswanathan on May 17, 2010, 9:15 GMT

    Stop the Funds and Endorsements mainly going only for Cricket as if its the only Game played in India...Give equal importance to every game....Let the ratio of Funds given to sports by the Government shall be in equal proportion and only based on their performance as a game, it shall be increased that too marginally...Stop the publicity, it isnt a Politics or Cinema to become FAME.....It is a game which everyone knows it equally but it is being moved to negative shades (cold war among the players).....STOP IPL - We people will watch Movies / Dramas, Dance shows, Music shows, etc....for entertainment and not Cricket or any other game

  • Siddharth on May 17, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    The Indian team's problems are NOT just short pitched bowling. The entire system seems outdated, specially when compared to all other countries. Simplified solutions for Team India- 1. Attitude 2. Extreme fitness 3. Fielding 4. Bowling 5. Short pitched balls 6. Sporting wickets in India 7. Mental toughness and belief

    Guys like Yuvraj & Harbhajan need to be dropped to be reminded of what it is to play for your country and to earn your spot. It happened to Sehwag, Ganguly, Zaheer, Raina and Rohit Sharma. Why is he any different?

    Dhoni is a good captain, very capable batsman. He needs to start showing a little more emotion and care when India lose. Not just shrug it off! You've got a billion fans adoring you, show some responsibility.

    I hope India learns its lesson from two straight 2nd round exits in consecutive world T20s.

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    One thing I fail to understand. This applies to both India and Pakistan. Why do you think that India/Pakistan should win all the time. If one team wins, the others have to lose. Yes, India didn't win in their last three games, so what? I know Cricket is like a religion in India, but still, you have to face reality. England didn't win a single ICC Trophy, which they deservedly won this time. Instead of going for the throats of the team, think. It is only a game, where one must win or lose. After all it is CRICKET.

  • n on May 17, 2010, 3:04 GMT

    Folks, it is a nice thought that Sunny should help. But being a great player doesn't result in being a good coach. Sunny knows his strengths and limitations. Or else we would have seen Rohan Gavaskar in the team today. Other than that, a GOOD coach and a sharp tongue with lot of articulation doesn't go well together. We have seen the results of Greg Chappell. Usually low-key, humble cricketer who has done reasonably well in international cricket, can be a good coach. e.g.: John Wright, Venkatesh Prasad, Kirsten, Duncan Fletcher etc. Great players after the retirement tend to see themselves in others. examples: Chappell brothers, Sunny, Bishan Bedi, Viv Richards etc. I bet Viv Richards can't help indian team either although he has offered to help. Ideally, coaches will only point out the mistakes and it is up to the players to figure out how to fix them. A Sharp tongue and a glamor of being a great ex-cricekt spoils the party. They can't relate to those mistakes easily. makes sense?

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    why can't BCCI make boncy pitche? I don't think it is impossible to make them in India. Something like the one in Mohali... Our players can get the practice. All these excuses by MS is BS

  • jatt on May 16, 2010, 19:26 GMT

    Dear Kulkarni and Vipul, I really have great respect for Sir Sunil Gavaskar, he did a great job for india in tests, he faced fast bowlers without helmet. But there is difference in test and T20. You cant duck against short ball in T20, you have to play it. Our players are not use to it. they are grown-up on flat tracks. So I am not in favour of sudden panic. Critics, Media and senior players are just panicking. Give the players some room to come out of it, they are also hurt, atleast they r also human beings. Mr. Gavaskar always up to make comments on players performance, but never talked to change the system if BCCI, because he is also part of same system and he cant dare to speak anything about system, because its his source of earning as well. BCCI is forcing players to participate in IPL, but nobody is talking about that issue, they cant pull out of IPL bcoz they dont wanna mess with bosses, sehwag became the victim 2wice. Players like Gavaskar should be fearless to oppose

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