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IND v AUS 2020: ‘A truck could have gone between that bat and pad’ – Sunil Gavaskar criticises India’s openers for similar dismissals

Prithvi Shaw registered a two-ball duck in the first innings
Prithvi Shaw registered a two-ball duck in the first innings
Modified 17 Dec 2020, 15:57 IST

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar slammed Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal for their identical dismissals. Both openers left a huge bat between bat and pad, only to see the ball crash into the stumps. India are 107 for 3 at Tea on Day 1 of the pink-ball Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday (December 17).

India got off to a terrible start as 21-year-old Shaw was castled by Mitchell Starc off the second ball of the opening Test match. Mayank Agarwal then put on 32 runs off 107 deliveries with Cheteshwar Pujara before Pat Cummins sent a ball rattling into Agarwal’s stumps through his bat and pad. Former India opener Sunil Gavaskar was unimpressed by the poor technique displayed by the two openers.

Prithvi Shaw (0 off 2) tried to drive a ball, which landed on a fuller length outside off stump, on the up only to see it kiss the inside edge of his bat and disturb the stumps. Sunil Gavaskar criticised the Mumbai lad for playing with hard hands and without any feet movement early in the innings.

“Have a look at where his bat ends. There is such a big gap between bat and pad. Just the second delivery of the game and you want to make sure that you are playing with soft hands. You are playing as late as possible...Then you are leaving that much of a gap between bat and pad, allowing for any late movement, either to get an inside edge or snick between bat and pad," Sunil Gavaskar said
“The trick is to try and play as close to the pads as possible, which means your bat speed has to be minimal at the start of the innings. As you grow in confidence, yes then you can go and play your shots. But at the start when you are not even off the mark, you want to try and reduce your bat speed. Don’t leave any gap between bat and pad,” Sunil Gavaskar told 7Cricket.

‘That’s where the Indians are making a big mistake,’ says Sunil Gavaskar

Mayank Agarwal was out for a 40-ball 17
Mayank Agarwal was out for a 40-ball 17

Mayank Agarwal (17 off 40) perished in the 19th over – just after the first drinks break – as Pat Cummins pitched the ball up and got it to nip back. While discussing India’s second wicket, Sunil Gavaskar mockingly said the gap between bat and pad was big enough to let a truck pass through.

“Well again, you can have a look at this. He’s (Mayank) played very hard at the ball, later on. This particular shot shows that the bat is close to the pad. It wasn’t. The ball sneaked through, there was such a big gap...a truck could have gone between that bat and pad. So that’s where the Indians are making a big mistake,” Sunil Gavaskar concluded.

The four-match Test series between India and Australia began with a day-night match in Adelaide (Dec 17-21). The fixture will be followed by day games in Melbourne (Dec 26-30), Sydney (Jan 7-11), and Brisbane (Jan 15-19).

Published 17 Dec 2020, 15:29 IST
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