Legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar believes that the Indian players will face their biggest challenge in transitioning from the fast-paced IPL T20 format to the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia. The highly anticipated final will take place at The Oval from June 7, and the majority of the Indian players have just concluded their rigorous participation in the IPL, which saw the Chennai Super Kings emerge as champions for the fifth time.
Gavaskar expressed his concerns about the adjustment required when switching from T20 to the longer format of Test cricket. In an interview with Star Sports on Tuesday, he stated, “The biggest test will be the fact that just about everybody will be coming out of a T20 format, and Test cricket is a longer format. So, I think that’s going to be the big challenge.”
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He further pointed out that among the Indian players, only veteran batsman Cheteshwar Pujara is well accustomed to the demands of the longer format due to his experience playing county cricket. Gavaskar emphasized, “They [India] have only Cheteshwar Pujara who has been playing in the English County Championship, so he will be the only guy who has played the longer format in these conditions, so that’s going to be the big challenge for them.”
Gavaskar also highlighted the significance of Ajinkya Rahane’s experience in English conditions. Despite a recent slump in form, Rahane performed strongly in the IPL, helping the Chennai Super Kings secure the title this season. Gavaskar acknowledged Rahane’s contributions and stated, “He’s got a lot of experience having played in England, having scored runs in England. So, yes, I think he is going to be crucial down at number 5.”
With regards to Rahane, Gavaskar expressed his belief that the 34-year-old has plenty of cricket left in him and a point to prove. He hoped that Rahane would seize this opportunity to reestablish himself in the Indian team and extend his professional career. Gavaskar concluded, “I’m hoping he will be able to grab this opportunity with all the experience that he has and make a place for himself back in the Indian team.”
In summary, Gavaskar expressed concerns about the Indian players transitioning from the IPL’s T20 format to the World Test Championship final. He emphasized the challenge of adapting to the longer format and highlighted the importance of Pujara’s experience and Rahane’s expertise in English conditions. Gavaskar hoped that Rahane would make the most of this opportunity to revive his career and secure a place in the Indian team.
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