India legend Sunil Gavaskar has said that lack of practice with red ball was the reason behind the Indian team’s loss. They lost by 31 runs in the opening Test against England at Edgbaston. Gavaskar believes that India should have played at least two three-day warm-up matches before the five-match Test series. Although they had a four-day practice match against county side Essex, it was reduced to three days due to the pitch conditions.
“Definitely not. We are talking about the Indian team being there and everybody is talking about the Indian team being there. But, they were playing with the white ball and the white ball doesn’t swing at all. It hardly swings for half-a-dozen overs or so but the red-ball keeps swinging. We saw in this Test match that even in the 40th over, 50th over, the ball was moving around in the air as well as off the surface,” Gavaskar said.
He stressed on the need for more practice. Even simulated practice won’t be the same as a real match.
The 69-year old is of the opinion that India fooled themselves by thinking that they have been in England for a month. However, they only played with the white-ball. They played in conditions where the bat speed for limited-overs cricket is different to that for Test cricket. That is not the way to prepare for the series.
According to him, the preparation should have been more intense at the start of the series. However, he is confident that India can make a strong comeback in the Test at Lord’s.
He chooses to stay positive as he truly believes in the team. The cricket legend knows that they have the ability, but they just need to believe in themselves. England sowed the seeds of doubt after the win in the first Test. So the trick is to start believing that they can come back and do well.