Virat Kohli’s statement during the post-match conference that they picked Umesh Yadav over Bhuvneshwar Kumar because the latter had not played much four-day cricket off late, has not gone down well with former India captain Sunil Gavaskar.
"When Kohli spoke about choosing Umesh [Yadav] over Bhuvneshwar [Kumar], he gave the reason that Bhuvneshwar has not played much four-day cricket. So where is he going to play now? He has not played anywhere. Why bring him, why bring him to Australia? He [Bhuvneshwar] hasn't played anything, now what are you going to do?" Gavaskar said to Sony Sports in the post-match show.
Gavaskar also questioned the Indian team’s tactics of not playing more practice matches.
He said, "I have been saying since January that this gap of a week, India should have been looking to play a 3-day game. The game [Perth Test] has finished on 18th, 19th and 20th you take a break. You play on 21st, 22nd, and 23rd. If that had been planned from a year earlier, I think it could have been organized.”
“You play a 3-day game, your Rahuls, and Vijays, the guys who are out of form, the Bhuvneshwar Kumars, they all could have got a little bit of a workout. Mayank Agarwal if he has flown in, he gets a workout," Gavaskar opined.
Gavaskar also pointed out the flaws in planning for overseas tours.
He said, "You know the planning for this entire one year is what has not helped Indian cricket, the planning has not been right and had it been right, we could different results. You have got to have that intention. By all means let the three fast bowlers who have played this game, not Umesh Yadav but the others and Virat and Pujara, let them take a break because they have really scored all the runs."
Gavaskar also named his playing XI for the Boxing Day Test at the MCG. He picked Mayank Agarwal and Murali Vijay, Hanuma Vihari at 6 and Pant at 7. Ashwin comes back in and just the three seamers. Rohit Sharma misses out for me unfortunately because I think Vihari has done enough to not be thrown out. Hardik Pandya, no, he just doesn't fit into this.
He further said, "This is not the first time it's happened in the last one year or so. It's happened in South Africa, it's happened in England where they have misread the conditions or may be got misled by the conditions and they have picked players, particularly bowlers, who should not have been playing. Somebody else should have been playing.”
"They probably went with the reputation of the Perth pitch that the pitch over here despite it being in the new stadium, new venue, they might have thought that Perth always has a lot of carry so they went with four-seamers. They might have always been deceived with the little bit of grass that was there on Day 1 and decided to go in with four. But look it's a 5-day game, you always try and go in with a spinner," he added.
(With IndiaToday.in inputs)