He made this observation while talking about India's depleted bowling resources in Mohammed Shami's absence during a discussion on Sports Tak.
Sunil Gavaskar was asked how big a loss Mohammed Shami's absence will be for India. He responded it will be a massive setback, considering the pacer's wicket-taking prowess and ability to surprise batsmen with skiddy bouncers.
"It is a huge loss. Because the ability Shami has to take wickets, the way he used to shock the batsmen with his bouncers and yorkers. If he doesn't play, then it will be a huge problem."
Sunil Gavaskar wants Ishant Sharma to be called in as a replacement
Sunil Gavaskar suggested Ishant Sharma board the next flight across to Australia if he is fit enough to bowl 20 overs a day. He added the lanky pacer can be available for the last two Tests after serving his quarantine period.
"Ishant Sharma is also not there. If Ishant Sharma is fit, then I am saying that he should be sent immediately. If he is good enough to bowl 20 overs in a day, he should be sent in tomorrow's flight so that he can be ready to play the Sydney Test."
Sunil Gavaskar highlighted India should not be overly cautious with Ishant Sharma's injury and take the risk of fielding him even if it is remotely possible.
"We have seen at times that this talk of physical fitness, it is sometimes erring on the side of caution about what happens if he is unfit. I will say that we should take a chance."
Sunil Gavaskar reasoned Navdeep Saini, who is Shami's likely replacement in the Indian attack, did not look threatening in the warm-up encounter he played against Australia A.
"Because there is no one else there. Navdeep Saini is there, he has got a lot of potential but the way he has bowled in the two warm-up matches, it does not seem that he will take wickets here."
Sunil Gavaskar signed off by iterating Mohammed Shami's absence will compound India's difficulties.
"But with Mohammed Shami not being there, it will create more problems."
The Indian bowling attack has certainly been depleted, with Mohammed Shami being ruled out of the series with a fractured arm.
While there is no clarity on the extent of Ishant Sharma's injury, the Indian thinktank might tread a cautious path. The speedster was ruled out of the second Test in New Zealand when he was called back into action shortly after an ankle injury.
Published 20 Dec 2020, 10:30 IST