Gavaskar questions Cobras' commitment
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar has criticised the Cobras for not showing enough fight in their final league-stage match against Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Monday. The match was reduced to a dead rubber with the Cobras already through to the semi-finals, but the South African side failed to chase a modest 115, crumbling to 84.
Gavaskar, who is also a television commentator with the host broadcaster ESPN Star, wrote in his syndicated column that the Cobras should have approached the chase more seriously even in a match of no consequence. Only three batsmen crossed double-figures and in addition there were three first-ball ducks.
"The Cape Cobras' attitude to their last game of the Super Eights game was disappointing to say the least. Sure, it was not a great pitch to bat on, but it certainly wasn't one where a team lost by 30 runs chasing a modest total," Gavaskar wrote.
"The game could have been a lot closer than it was if the Cape Cobras hadn't given up at the half-way stage. They may be happy that their semi-final is in Hyderabad where they have had such good results, but losing is never easy to recover even if it was dead rubber."
The Cobras will meet the in-form Trinidad & Tobago - unbeaten in the tournament - in the semi-finals on Thursday. The Cobras too were unbeaten till the game against Delhi but Gavaskar warned that the break in momentum could affect their chances of qualifying.
"There is nothing like match practice and no amount of net sessions are going to simulate the tensions and the pressures of a real match," Gavaskar said. "That's why it is important for the players to feel that tension and see how they react to it both skill-wise and temperament-wise. If the Cobras had fought on and won or even got close to the target, they would have been in an even better frame of mind than they would be now.
"Just like winning is a habit so also losing can be contagious and the Cobras will have to lift themselves up considerably to get the better of the Caribbean team."
Gavaskar added that T&T, on the other hand, have set a fine example. "The Trinidad and Tobago guys have been focussed and have fought back from impossible situations to win. They have an array of big hitters who can accelerate the scoring at will and Daren Ganga has used his bowling options shrewdly to maximise their effectiveness."
The winner will meet New South Wales in the final in Hyderabad on Friday.