India vs Australia: Sunil Gavaskar says hosts must target winning abroad after home season success

Dharamsala: Effusive in his praise for the hard-fought Test series win over Australia, legendary Sunil Gavaskar on Tuesday said it is now time for the Indian cricket team to produce results in overseas conditions.

Gavaskar said every Indian cricketer dreams of doing well in foreign conditions, the satisfaction of which is "completely different".

"That's (winning overseas) what we always want to do, that's the test we set ourselves as players. We are familiar with home conditions. It is great that we do well at home, it is pretty much expected. But winning overseas is a completely different satisfaction. It's a greater satisfaction that in conditions that you are not used to, you have done well," Gavaskar said.

Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar added that the Indian team was on the right track with coach Anil Kumble. AFP

Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar added that the Indian team was on the right track with coach Anil Kumble. AFP

India today chased down a victory target of 106 with consummate ease on the fourth day to beat Australia by eight wickets in the fourth and final Test to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

Gavaskar said Team India is in the right direction in its quest for success overseas.

"The team is on the right track with Anil Kumble as the coach because Anil not only has massive experience he was also an aggressive bowler. I think he had the temperament of a fast bowler and that aggression has been shown by the bowlers as well," the former India captain told NDTV.

"Look at Umesh Yadav, what a fantastic season he has had. He played 12 out of 13 matches and the aggression that he showed in these 12 matches has been a crucial factor in India winning the three series.

"To have Ishant (Sharma), to have Mohammed Shami who did not play is this game is a huge plus. You have Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav doing the job, so in future if you want to rotate these bowlers, to give them just a little bit of break, India has the pace bowling reserves as well. That really is good news particularly with India going to play overseas," he added.

Gavaskar also rated Ajinkya Rahane highly as a captain. Rahane led India in the series decider after regular skipper Virat Kohli was ruled out of the match due to a shoulder injury.

"Virat is one of the best batsman in the world and he is not there and you still insist on going with five batsmen and five bowlers I think is fantastic," Gavaskar said.

"The way he (Rahane) handled the situation particularly after Australia were 140 for 1 on Day 1, the bowling changes he made at that stage actually showed what a sharp cricketing brain he has. He has joined five Mumbai players who have won their first match as captains," he said.

Gavaskar also praised Cheteshwar Pujara and KL Rahul for their splendid batting display in the series.

"Lot of people underestimate the contribution Cheteshwar Pujara makes with his batting. His solidity at one end actually gives confidence to the batsman at the other end. Pujara has got all the shots in the book but he chooses to exercise those shots according to the needs of the situation.

"Occupation of the crease is more important because it is a five-day game and he does it to perfection. The Indian dressing room knows how big a player he is. Rahul (Dravid) was called the 'Wall' but I will call him (Pujara) Dewar," the batting legend said.

"KL Rahul has got huge batting talent. His defence is impeccable, he has got all the shots in the book but one thing I would want him to do is to convert those 50s and 60s into 100s. If he gets his shot selection right, particularly in the 50s and 60s, he can score big runs."

Steve Smith on Tuesday apologised for letting his "emotions slip" during the aggressively-contested but lost Test series against India and Gavaskar spoke highly about the Australia captain.

"Steven Smith is a big man because for him to accept he has made a mistake just shows what a big man he is. I am so happy he has come and done that," Gavaskar said.

"We all make mistakes, we all get carried away by the heat of the moment but to accept it like he has done is a huge thing. My respect for Steve Smith as a batsman is huge and my respect for him as a person has gone even higher," he signed off.


Published Date: Mar 28, 2017 05:31 pm | Updated Date: Mar 28, 2017 05:31 pm

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