‘Joke could well be on us’: Gavaskar urges media to avoid taking inputs from foreign commentators on India’s team combination

India will host the ODI World Cup later this year.

Indian cricket team | BCCIIndian men’s team will be keen to end the long-standing ICC trophy drought this year by winning at least one of the two events – the World Test Championship (WTC) and the ODI World Cup.

Even though the 50-over World Cup is nearly 10 months away, the talks about team combination have already started.

Meanwhile, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has urged the Indian media outlets to stay away from overseas commentators to get their views on squad composition or any player.

According to Gavaskar, too much reporting about a player who may not be good enough for an India selection sends mixed signals.

"Hopefully, our media won't be going to overseas commentators asking who should be picked for India. Never forget that these commentators are loyal to their country and may actually suggest names that may not be what India need. We saw what happened in the last World Cup where a newcomer's name was pushed by the overseas commentators during that season's IPL and he was eventually picked over a proven performer and India ended up hardly playing him in the XI," Gavaskar wrote in his column for Mid-Day.

While he did not mention the name of any player, all signs point towards the three-dimensional saga featuring Ambati Rayudu and Vijay Shankar ahead of the 2019 World Cup.

On the back of his IPL 2019 exploits, Shankar was included in the World Cup squad at the expense of middle-order batter Rayudu, who had done well leading up to the quadrennial event.

Then chief selector MSK Prasad had justified Vijay Shankar’s addition to the side, stating that the latter is a three-dimensional player.

However, Shankar couldn’t live up to the expectations, scoring 58 runs and picking two wickets from three matches being ruled out of the showpiece tournament due to foot injury.

Gavaskar hopes the media will avoid taking suggestions from people who don’t have much knowledge of Indian cricket.

"Cricket being hugely popular, it is understandable that there has to be some cricket news or the other but it would be terrific if we don't go around asking foreigners what our teams should be, because then the joke could well be on us, the Indian fans and it won't be funny at all," he added.

The 2023 edition of ODI World Cup is due to be held in India in October-November.


By Salman Anjum - 23 Jan, 2023

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