I would have made more changes to the Indian team: Gavaskar

The former Indian captain said not dropping more players for poor performances sends out the wrong message

Sunil Gavaskar New Delhi (The Telegraph): Former India cricket captain, Sunil Gavaskar, on Wednesday, said the selectors should not be afraid of dropping non-performing players but refused to criticise the selection of the side for the upcoming Asia Cup.

Opener Virender Sehwag and pace bowler Zaheer Khan do not figure in the Asia Cup squad because of injuries. Sehwag has scored only 65 runs in his last five one-day innings. His form in the preceding Test series was equally unimpressive.

There was a speculation that some senior players may be dropped in the wake of the team’s poor show in Australia. However, the selectors refrained from making many changes in the side.

Asked if the players should be dropped, if their performance is not up to the expectations, Gavaskar said: “Of course.”

“If you don’t do that, then it would mean that you can lose Test series 0-4, you can lose X number of matches. It does not matter. That’s the message sent. If that’s the case, we as cricket lovers must be prepared for such results in future as well,” Gavaskar told a news channel.

Gavaskar, though, was in no mood to criticise the selectors for not making too many changes to the side.

“I guess we have to accept it. Once a team is selected, do not criticise it. It will affect their morale. If they don’t perform then the players should be criticised,” he said.

“Personally, I would have made more changes. That’s the way to look forward. We’ll have to see about 2015. We are not in a position to determine the fitness of the players at that time but we can see, if there will be the same hunger, zeal, focus. They got to move on.”

Gavaskar said the selectors could have given Virat Kohli more chances to get experienced before giving additional responsibility of vice-captaincy.

“It’s a reward for his performance. It’s a tad unfair to Gautam Gambhir. Virat has plenty of cricket ahead of him.

“He is future India captain but he needs to firmly establish himself in the team.

“In the meantime, let him get experience and exposure, so that when he becomes captain, he is ready,” Gavaskar said.