India start their ICC T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on Sunday and ahead of the match the team had an optional practice session. India captain Rohit Sharma and paceman Mohammed Shami was among those who came out for practice. India had won its first warm-up match against Australia on October 17, but their second warm-up match against New Zealand was washed out.
Speaking to India TodaySunil Gavaskar, former India captain and batting great said that he did not agree with the decision of having an optional practice session for the team ahead of the Pakistan match.
“I don’t know what it tells you but it’s something that I don’t agree with. I don’t agree with it for the simple reason that, at the start of the tournament, when you had your match (warm-up) match) washed out, when you have come to Melbourne and had a day off, and then the next day, you opt not to practice?” Gavaskar said.
“At the end of the day, those who didn’t come out for practice can turn out to be match-winners. But you want a rhythm going as a team. You want to see a sense of purpose.
“Giving an option is something I believe only the captain and the coach should be doing. Say, if you scored a hundred in the previous game and you have a small niggle, the captain and the coach can give you the option of not practicing and say ‘if you don’t want to come to practice, it’s fine’. Similarly with a bowler, who has bowled maybe 20-30 overs and feeling a sore shoulder or something, then the captain and the coach can give that bowler the option of not coming for training.
“Giving the option to the players is a no-no. There never ever should be that option. Only the captain and the coach should be taking that call. How many times it has affected Indian cricket is unbelievable.
“At the start of the tournament? In the middle of the tournament, you are on a roll, you have done really well, you give everybody a break. You go to a cinema, go wherever to take their mind off cricket. But at the start of the tournament, optional practice?
“Maybe on the eve of the match, they might all turn up (for practice). But that’s not it. I want to show that solidarity of purpose ‘look we want to win. Tomorrow if it rains, what happens? Your practice is gone,” Gavaskar added.
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