Indian cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar is not a happy man when it comes to Team India’s way of training ahead of big tournaments. Off late there has been a concept of “optional training” and the idea of this has not gone down well with the former Indian skipper.
On Friday ahead of Team India’s first match against Pakistan which is set to take place on Sunday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, many of Indian players decided to skip the “optional training” session. Likes of Virat Kohli, Kl Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Yuzvendra Chahal, and a few more missed the training session. Meanwhile, skipper Rohit Shrma along with Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, and Dinesh Karthik were seen working hard in the nets. Coach Rahul Dravid was also present there along with a few more players.
“I don’t know what it tells you but it’s something that I don’t agree with. I don’t agree with it for the simple reason that, at the start of the tournament, when you had your match (warm-up match) washed out, when you have come to Melbourne and had a day off, and then the next day, you opt not to practice?” Gavaskar told India Today.
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Only coach and capatin should have authourity to decide who should have day-off from training: Sunil Gavaskar
At the end of the day, those who didn’t come out for practice can turn out to be match-winners. But you want a rhythm going as a team. You want to see a sense of purpose,” he added.
Gavaskar then also feels that this is a wired concept of optional training and only the skipper and coach should have the authority to decide whether there should be a practice session or not. The former right-handed batter was totally against the idea of individual players deciding whether to train or not.
“Giving an option is something I believe only the captain and the coach should be doing. Say, if you scored a hundred in the previous game and you have a small niggle, the captain and the coach can give you the option of not practicing and say ‘if you don’t want to come to practice, it’s fine. Similarly with a bowler, who has bowled maybe 20-30 overs and feeling a sore shoulder or something, then the captain and the coach can give that bowler the option of not coming for training.”
“Giving the option to the players is a no-no. There never ever should be that option. Only the captain and the coach should be taking that call. How many times it has affected Indian cricket is unbelievable,” Gavaskar added.
Team India’s warm-up match against New Zealand was washed out without a ball being bowled and Gavaskar feels that ahead of the tournament this is a bizarre concept of optional training when you have plenty of time to prepare for the opening encounter. He feels one should give it all as the opening match is very crucial in any tournament.
“At the start of the tournament? In the middle of the tournament, you are on a roll, you have done really well, you give everybody a break. You go to a cinema, go wherever to take their mind off cricket. But at the start of the tournament, optional practice?
“Maybe on the eve of the match, they might all turn up (for practice). But that’s not it. I want to show that solidarity of purpose ‘look we want to win. Tomorrow if it rains, what happens? Your practice is gone,” Gavaskar concluded.
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