“Dream Turned Into A Nightmare”: Gavaskar “Baffled” By India’s Tactics

Sunil Gavaskar said he was “baffled” by India’s tactics after lunch on Day 4.© AFP

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar slammed the team’s tactics in the post-lunch session on Day 4 of the third and final Test, which the visitors went on to lose by seven wickets at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday. Victory in Cape Town helped South Africa remain undefeated against India in Test series played at home. India had won the opening Test at a canter but lost the next two quite comprehensively. Gavaskar said that India’s dream of winning their first Test series on South African soil had “turned into a nightmare”.

Gavaskar was especially “baffled” by some of India’s tactics after the lunch break on Day 4.

“India’s cricket after lunch has just baffled me. One would’ve thought that you would make one last-ditch effort, bring Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami on to bowl. Because after an interval, batsmen have to reset. India’s dream of winning a series for the first time in South Africa has turned into a nightmare,” the former India cricketer said on-air while commentating on the match.

“What can one say? Both of these victories are comprehensive for South Africa, again winning by seven wickets — seven wickets in Johannesburg and seven wickets here.”

Gavaskar said India’s emphatic win at Centurion in the opening Test had led him to believe of a 3-0 scoreline in the visitors’ favour. The ex-India opener also pointed at the “fragility” of the South African batting and their “inexperienced” bowling line-up.

“Hasn’t even gone close, India had a big victory in the first Test and I really thought that is going to be the template for the next two Test matches as well. Did not happen.”

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“Margin of victories that is something terrific for South Africa. But hard to understand as far as India are concerned. The way they dominated that first Test, really thought they would be able to win the series. I was thinking in terms of a 3-0 series, because of the fragility of the South African batting. The fact that Nortje wasn’t playing — that was a huge plus again for India because you had then two inexperienced bowlers,” said Gavaskar.

Having failed to conquer the final frontier, the focus for India will now shift to the three-match ODI series that begins in Boland Park, Paarl from January 19.

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