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Sunil Gavaskar blasts India batsmen after poor shot selection in Adelaide Test

India Today logo India Today 06-12-2018 IndiaToday.in
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Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has lashed out at the approach of Indian batsmen in the morning session of the ongoing first Test against Australia in Adelaide.

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Gavaskar pointed out that the Indian top-order batsmen, including Virat Kohli, perished cheaply after trying to do "flashy stuff". The batting great also stressed the importance of a patient approach, especially in the morning session of the first Test and lauded Cheteshwar Pujara for playing well within his limits.

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Gavaskar's comments come after India were reduced to 56 for four at Lunch on a bright, sunny day in Adelaide that marked the start of a much-anticipated four-Test series.

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As Gavaskar pointed out, it was shocking to see the senior pros in the top order pushing at deliveries outside the off-stump and playing into the hands of the opposition.

"That [poor outside the off-stump] is an understatement. They [India batsmen] were just reaching out for deliveries which they could have very well left alone. The only exception may be KL Rahul but all the others played shots that they could have avoided," Gavaskar told Sony Six during Lunch on Thursday.

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"It was the first session of a five-day Test match and you had all the time in the world to build a good total.

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"You know that the Kookaburra ball swings around only for maybe a dozen overs or so. You can then cash in, capitalise and score plenty of runs. But everybody was like 'I have to get my runs in this session'.

"And if these players had been newcomers, understandable but these are all experienced players who played those shots outside the off-stump.

"If that's been the discussion in the dressing room - let's be aggressive, let us go after the bowlers, then it's the wrong approach. At the start of the series, that's definitely a wrong approach.

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"A lot of people, including Australians, have been saying India are the favourites. So the pressure was on the Australians, so it was an opportunity to try and bat sensibly. Look at what Pujara did, bat sensibly and well within his limits and didn't try anything flashy. These guys have got out, trying something flashy."

Under-fire opening batsman, Rahul was the first to be dismissed as early as in the second over when he was caught in the slips after trying to drive a full and wide ball through the covers.

Murali Vijay followed suit as he was caught behind after he tried to drive Mitchell Starc on the up. The opener had looked compact for the first seven overs before playing the loose shot.

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Australia's plan for Virat Kohli very good: Gavaskar

Australia got the big wicket of Kohli as Pat Cummins, in his first over, lured Kohli into driving with another full and wide delivery. Usman Khawaja took a stunning catch at backward point to send the Indian captain walking back to the hut on 3.

Gavaskar pointed out that Kohli failed to defend a single ball during his short stay at the crease and paid the price for it. He also lauded the Australians for executing their plans against the much-talked-about India captain.

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"Very good planning because that's what they've seen with Virat. He has not left a single delivery. This one was way outside the off-stump, almost on the seventh stump. Look how much he has reached for it. He knows he shouldn't have done that. It wasn't even a half-volley but he was trying to play that on the up," Gavaskar added.

Rohit Sharma, who was slotted into the playing XI ahead of Hanuman Vihari, looked good during his 61-ball 37 but perished after playing a loose shot. Notably, he was handed a reprieve on the previous ball as debutant Marcus Harris spilled a difficult catch at the deep square-leg boundary.

Meanwhile, Pujara got to his fifty in the third session as he has been waging a lone battle against the Australian attack, which has clearly won the battle on the opening day.

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(Video by ESPN Cricinfo)

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