Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar lashed out at the Indian think-tank, accusing the team of ‘favouritism’, after it refused to give any of the players on the bench a chance in the inconsequential Asia Cup game against Afghanistan at Mirpur on Wednesday.
After losing to Sri Lank and Pakistan, India are already out of contention for the final that allowed a window to test players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishwar Pandey against Afghanistan. But after winning the toss and opting to bowl, skipper Virat Kohli said he is going in with an unchanged eleven, after which Gavaskar slammed the decision on live television.
Gavaskar said the decision suggested the team is scared that replacements may perform well and make it difficult for “their favourites” to come back.
“It is baffling that Ishwar Pandey and Pujara are not given chances. Are they worried that if they do well then their favourite batsman or bowler will not be able to get their place back in team? This is really ridiculous.”
“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,” Gavaskar asked.
“This is what breeds complacency, guys know, kuch bhi karoon, team main hoon (whatever I do, I’m in the team),” the former skipper concluded.