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    'Manner of defeat will hurt seniors more'

    New Delhi: Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar feels that the "manner of defeat" in England and Australia was more disappointing than the 0-8 scoreline.

    India were humbled by 298 runs in the fourth and final Test in Adelaide on Saturday, losing their eighth consecutive match on foreign soil. They were whitewashed in the four-match series in Australia, and earlier in England last year.

    "It is the manner of defeat which has been disappointing. Look, if the defeat would have been by a narrow margin, you would have felt that India were in the game. But save certain moments at the Lord's, Trent Bridge and Melbourne, India have never been in the game at all. The defeats have been very comprehensive, which would certainly hurt the likes of Sachin Tendulkar," Gavaskar said on Saturday.

    The legendary opener feels that senior players like Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan would have been hurt more, since they have experienced some enormous "highs" in their career.

    "The likes of Sachin, VVS, Rahul, Zak have been around together for 10 years now and have enjoyed a lot of highs. So it would be more difficult for them to go through this phase," Gavaskar told a news channel.

    Asked about five corrective measures that can be taken, he gave a sarcastic reply, "I can give you three and other two will fall in place. Bat well, bowl well and field well!"

    On a serious note, he urged BCCI to look at preparing sporting pitches for domestic matches and said that international players should play in the Ranji Trophy.

    "I think we need pitches which are a bit more even for the bowlers. Look at the Ranji Trophy final. Rajasthan got more than 300 run first-innings lead, but didn't go for an outright win. They batted again and that is where Indian cricket suffers, where matches are decided on basis of first-innings," Gavaskar said.

    Gavaskar also suggested that national selectors should watch more Ranji Trophy matches in order to have a better idea about the supply line of domestic cricket.

    "The national selectors are seen watching international matches, which features players who have already been selected," Gavaskar pointed out.

    When asked why there hasn't been a single player from Rajasthan in the national team even after they have won successive Ranji Trophy titles, Gavaskar answered,"The selectors should be watching players like (Vineet) Saxena, who had scored a double century, or (Robin) Bist, who had a fine season. Not to forget Ashok Menaria, who I believe is one for the future."

    The legendary opener feels that now that selectors are paid handsomely, they should be ready to travel across the country and watch domestic matches.

    "The selectors are now well compensated for being able to go around and not only watch matches in their home states. Once the the dates of the Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy are chalked out, the selectors should visit different zones to take a note of performers. For example, someone from West Zone should watch matches happening in the East Zone and vice-versa."

    Gavaskar agreed that the "hype surrounding the IPL" makes the selectors take a note of performances in the cash-rich league.

    "Probably it is the hype surrounding the IPL which is the reason for performances in the tournament getting more noticed. But IPL is only a Twenty20 tournament and that can't be a parameter to select team for Test matches. The criteria there is to select performers in Ranji Trophy."