The ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy has seen plenty of outside chatter regarding the pitch. Even before the series got underway, a host of Australian media and a few ex-cricketers accused India of “doctoring” the Nagpur track. While the talks on India producing rank turners were relatively low during the Delhi Test, but it once again took centerstage as the action shifted to Indore.
Apart from the pitch, the ex-cricketers have been extremely critical of the current side on several occasions. One among the many incidents was Australia legend Allan Border lashing at Steve Smith, who innocently passed a thumbs-up gesture to the bowler after a ball beat his outside edge. Apart from this former Australia opener Matthew Hayden too had slammed the team for their lackluster show in the series opener.
However, India batting legend Sunil Gavaskar feels instead of pointing fingers at the players, the ex-cricketers should question the Australia selectors. Highlighting the shortcomings of the selectors, Gavaskar citied the example of Josh Hazlewood, who was ruled out of the first Test due to an an Achilles injury. He also presented the case of Mitchell Starc. While Starc was part of the playing XI in the third encounter in Indore, Hazlewood is yet to make a single appearance in the series.
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“While the ex-Australian players on the various media platforms are having a real go at their players, the ones who should be the real targets are the Australian selectors. How can they pick three players (Hazlewood, Starc, and Cameron Green) who they knew would not be available for selection for the first two Test matches? That is, for half the series, the team management had only 13 players to pick from.
“Then they fly in a newcomer (Matthew Kuhnemann) when they had a similar player already in the team. If they didn’t think the player in the team was good enough, why did they pick him in the first place? That meant the team management was picking their 11 from 12 players. Ridiculous. If they have any sense of responsibility the selectors should resign even if Australia make a stunning comeback and win the next two Tests and level the series,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar.
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Coming back to the series, all the three Tests that have been played so far have been wrapped inside three days. India won the first two comprehensively, before Australia made a stunning comeback under stand-in skipper Steve Smith and won the third Test by nine wickets. The win also saw Australia book the World Test Championship finale berth, which will be played at The Oval in June. India, on the other hand, will hope for a positive result in the final encounter in Ahmedabad, which if they manage to do will see them join Australia in the finale.