Rank turners have been the major talking point during the ongoing Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023, and more so after India’s 9-wicket defeat in the 3rd Test in Indore.
While India did manage to successfully retain the Border Gavaskar Trophy after taking a 2-1 lead in the series, the defeat in Indore was perhaps an eye-opener.
The pitch used at the Holkar Stadium was rated ‘poor’ by the ICC, and the surfaces used during the previous two Test matches in Delhi and Nagpur were deemed ‘average’.
Following a hefty defeat against Australia - who will be led by Steve Smith again in the fourth Test as Pat Cummins will continue to stay by the side of his ailing mother - Sunil Gavaskar took a sly dig at Rohit Sharma’s side.
ALSO READ| IND vs AUS, 4th Test: Pat Cummins Ruled Out, Steve Smith to Lead Australia in Ahmedabad
In an interview with India Today, Gavaskar claimed that the current lot is without the services of the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami and thus the hosts’ bowling lineup is considerably weakened.
That is why they struggled to pick up 20 wickets and in order to compensate for that, the Indian team have had to rely on rank turners so that spinners can help chip in with the goods.
“Taking 20 wickets is not going to be easy in India. On a lot of Indian pitches, without your ace bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami and a slightly inexperienced Mohammed Siraj, I don’t think that bowling attack is such (strong)," said Gavaskar.
The legendary opener further added, “But with a little bit of help from a dry pitch, India can probably take 20 wickets. I think that is the thinking behind preparing such pitches."
ALSO READ| ‘Cricket Pata Bhi Nahi Tha Jab Dhoni Sir ko Follow Kar Rahi Thi: Kiran Navgire’s Interview Goes Viral - WATCH
“For India to reach the World Test Championship Final, they did not have any other options (than producing turning tracks)," added Gavaskar.
Bumrah is reportedly in New Zealand, where he is set to undergo a surgery on his back that has troubled him a lot lately and kept him out of action since last September.
The star-pacer is reportedly set to miss the upcoming IPL 2023 campaign and may also miss the World Test Championship final in June.
Shami meanwhile has been rested as part of his workload management plan, although with India still needing a win in the fourth Test to qualify for the WTC final, the veteran might be included in the playing XI for the next match.
ALSO READ| IND vs AUS: Jhye Richardson Ruled Out of ODI Series, IPL Participation in Doubts - Report
Gavaskar meanwhile added that India’s strength is its spin attack in the absence of some of their key players and thus they have tried to avoid flat pitches to test the batsmen and give the spinners some edge.
“If you would have had a strong attack, maybe you could have done something different but your strength is your spinners and therefore I think these pitches are being made. You do not want a flat pitch where the batters go out and dominate. These pitches are testing the temperament of the batters," stated Gavaskar further.
Get the latest Cricket News here