IND vs ENG: Sunil Gavaskar responds to Rohit Sharma’s bold remarks after the Ranchi Test

After India‘s impressive five-wicket triumph against England in the Ranchi Test, led by the noteworthy performances of Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel, skipper Rohit Sharma emphasized the indispensable need for players to exhibit unyielding desire and hunger for success in the challenging realm of Test cricket.

Acknowledging Test cricket as the toughest format, Rohit expressed that identifying players lacking the requisite hunger is not a complex task.

“This [Test cricket] is the toughest format. And if you want success and want to excel in this tough format then you need that hunger. It is very important. We will give opportunity only to players who have that hunger. You come to know [easily] the players who don’t have that hunger, [or] players who don’t want to stay here [and play this format]. We come to know that,” Rohit said in the post-match press conference after the Ranchi Test.

Sunil Gavaskar’s echoes of loyalty

Echoing Rohit’s sentiments, former Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar emphasized the paramount importance of commitment and loyalty to the cause of Indian cricket. Gavaskar underscored that the privileges and acclaim enjoyed by players are indebted to Indian cricket, thus emphasizing the reciprocal loyalty owed by players to the sport itself.

He’s absolutely right. The ones who want to play Test cricket, you look at them. I’ve been saying this for years. The players are what they are because of Indian cricket. The stage of life and career they are at, is all because of Indian cricket. The money, fame, and recognition that they have got is because of Indian cricket. So you’ve got to show some loyalty towards Indian cricket,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.

And if you don’t show that for whatever reasons and say ‘I won’t play, won’t play that’ Rohit is absolutely right in saying the ones who have the hunger, the ones who are willing to put the effort, will be given more opportunities going ahead. If this is the attitude of the selectors then it will be good for Indian cricket. We’ve seen many players pick and choose, this shouldn’t happen,” the 74-year-old added.

Also READ: IND vs ENG: Yashasvi Jaiswal makes history in Ranchi Test; joins Sunil Gavaskar, Virat Kohli in an elite club

Indirect reference to centrally contracted cricketers

While Gavaskar did not explicitly name players, his comments indirectly referenced the absence of centrally contracted cricketers Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer from the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2024.

Maybe they have decided not to play Test cricket for India. They don’t have the ability, they don’t have the hunger like Rohit said. So which form of domestic cricket they didn’t play? The Ranji Trophy. It is the longer format with red balls. So you can’t do anything,” the Mumbai-born cricketer stated.

Proposal for schedule change

Gavaskar further went on to propose a structural change in the cricketing calendar, urging the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to initiate the Ranji season in October and conclude it by December. He recommended organizing white-ball tournaments subsequently, offering valuable practice for players gearing up for the Indian Premier League (IPL), and placing a renewed emphasis on Test cricket.

I would request BCCI to start the Ranji season in October and finish it in December. Then you hold the white-ball tournaments like the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s. This will also give practice to the players playing in the IPL. From December to February India plays Test matches either at home or abroad so if the Ranji Trophy is hosted before that then the young players will also be ready,” Gavaskar concluded.

Also READ: Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer saga forces BCCI to revise pay structures with bonus for Test players – Reports

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