With India facing yet another series defeat on foreign soil, former captain and legendary opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar, in his post-match analysis after the end of play on Day 4 in Centurion, stated that India could have been in a much better position in the ongoing Test had they held onto their catches in the match. Gavaskar’s main statement, however, was that former captain MS Dhoni should have carried on playing Test cricket.
Gavaskar misses Dhoni in Indian Test squad
“If MSD (Dhoni) wanted to carry on, he could have carried on. Clearly, I think he might have had too much of captaincy (burden). I would have actually liked him to maybe give up captaincy and still stay in the team as wicketkeeper-batsman because his advice in the dressing room would have been invaluable. Maybe he thought that the best course for him was to not to be there,” Gavaskar said during an analysis in Centurion.
MS Dhoni had bid goodbye to Test cricket after the drawn third Test match of the 2014/15 series in Australia. India had to bring in Parthiv Patel to replace the incumbent wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha after the latter suffered a hamstring injury in the series opener in Cape Town. Patel has put down notable catches in the ongoing Test, giving a second life to the likes of Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar, with all three going on to make significant scores in their respective innings.
Reserving high praise for the missing Saha, Gavaskar said that he was badly missed behind the stumps by India. “Wriddhiman Saha has been missed. There is no question about it. His keeping is at an altogether different level,” Gavaskar stated.
“Parthiv Patel though is a competitive wicketkeeper. He is a little fighter as we can see when he gets the bat in his hand. However, sometimes with the gloves, he can have a little bit of an issue”, Gavaskar went on to add.
“We saw with that missed opportunity (Elgar on Day 3). If we had gone for it and dropped it, then there would have been no issues. But not going for a catch does make you feel a little bit disappointed,” he further said.
Faf du Plessis-led South Africa are already 1-0 up in the three-match series and took a massive step forward in sealing the series.