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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Sunil Gavaskar says Virat Kohli should be questioned over shot selection on WTC final's last day

The batting was shambles today. It was just ridiculous what we saw today. Especially the shot making, says Gavaskar

PTI London Published 11.06.23, 07:45 PM
Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar Twitter/@ItsHitmanERA

A livid Sunil Gavaskar on Sunday hit out at the Indian players and did not spare Virat Kohli after the team's meek surrender in the World Test Championship final against Australia, saying the batting was "ridiculous".

Australia crushed India by 209 runs on the fifth and final day of a game that was mostly dominated by the team from Down Under.

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"The batting was shambles today. It was just ridiculous what we saw today. Especially the shot making. We saw some ordinary shots yesterday from (Cheteshwar) Pujara, somebody you never expect to play that shot.

"Maybe somebody has gone into his head and said 'strike rate, strike rate'. You have not even lasted a session. Eight wickets have not lasted a session? Come on," Gavaskar told broadcaster Star Sports.

The result meant India's underwhelming record in ICC tournaments continued.

Australian pacer Scott Boland produced a bowling spell of rare quality to get rid of Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja in the same over, effectively shutting the door on India, who were bowled out for 234 in their second innings on the final day here at The Oval.

Gavaskar said Indian batters erred persistently around their personal landmarks, citing a pattern.

Speaking about Kohli's dismissal, Gavaskar said, "It was a pretty ordinary shot. Outside the off stump. He was leaving till then. Maybe he was conscious that he needed one run to reach his half century. It happens when you are nearing a milestone.

"It happened to Jadeja. He played a delivery he shouldn't have when he was (on) 48. Happened to Ajinkya Rahane who was on 46. He hadn't played that shot all this while. Suddenly why do you play that shot? Because you are aware of that landmark." Having made 49 off 78 balls, Kohli was the first Indian to get out on the final day, off Boland who invited the batter to go for a drive on a wide delivery and the batter obliged.

Slamming Kohli for his shot selection, Gavaskar said, "It was a bad shot. You should ask Kohli what shot he played. He talks so much about how to win a match you need a long innings. How are you going to do that if you play a ball so far outside the off stump?" This was India's second defeat in successive WTC finals after losing to New Zealand in 2021 in the inaugural edition.

Set an improbable target of 444, India started the day at 164 for three but soon lost batting mainstay Kohli, followed by Jadeja (0) and Rahane (43) to be bowled out for 234 in 63.3 overs, losing seven wickets for only 70 runs.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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