Sunil Gavaskar dissected the dismissals of India’s top order batters Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara after the second day of the World Test Championship (WTC 2023) final against Australia, which is being played at the Oval in London from June 7 onwards.
Australia posted a massive 469 runs with Travis Head’s 163 and Steve Smith’s 121 being the star scorers. For India, Mohammed Siraj picked four wickets, while Mohammad Shami and Shardul Thakur picked two wickets each.
In reply, the no.1 ranked Test side was reduced to 50/3 with the trio of Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Cheteshwar Pujara not going beyond the 20-run mark. It became 76/4 when Virat Kohli fell for 14 runs.
At the close of play, India was struggling at 151/5 and trailed Australia by 318 runs. Ajinkya Rahane (29*) and KS Bharat (5*) remained unbeaten at the stumps.
Rohit and Gill started brightly but in the sixth over, Cummins trapped the India skipper leg before. Three balls later, Scott Boland castled Gill who offered no shot. It was a repeat telecast when Pujara attempted to let the ball go off Cameron Green’s bowling.
“I think it’s a couple of misjudgments from probably like Shubman Gill, who has been in great form. Losing him was a big blow. Rohit Sharma has been not in the best of touches in the IPL. So, his playing across the line was not that much of a surprise. But again Pujara, not quite covering his stumps and getting out. So these were the dismissals that could have been avoided,” said Gavaskar on Sky Sports.
“But to Australia’s credit, they bowled a much fuller length and got the batters into thinking that the line was such that most batters – however good you are, that off stump, there is always a little bit of uncertainty,” he added.
Former India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane played a gritty 29-run knock from 71 balls and added 71 runs with Ravindra Jadeja who made 48 in 51 balls, before falling to Nathan Lyon.
“He has been in very good form in the IPL. We have seen a different Rahane. Somebody prepared to take the attack to the bowling. He used to do that earlier on as well. But you know after a while, when you are one of the main batters, the responsibility can be that you curb a few shots.
But it’s almost like he has been reborn as a Test player. He last played a Test match in January 2022 against New Zealand if I’m correct. Then to come back now the way he has, he is looking good. He was a little bit lucky with that no-ball being called. Every batter needs that little bit of luck. I’m hoping that he can carry on and take India to a total that is closer to Australia’s,” Gavaskar said of Rahane.