Sunil Gavaskar warns Team India even after winning the ODI series

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"If you want to win World Cup, you can’t drop catches" - Sunil Gavaskar warns India

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SportsCafe Desk

02/14/2018

While praising India’s series win, Sunil Gavaskar has also warned that India can’t drop these many catches if they really want to win the World Cup next year. In the same broadcasting, Shaun Pollock has stated that the way South Africa were beaten in their own conditions was worrisome.

While India’s ground-fielding remained as lethal as ever, their fielders were unable to take the easy offerings and missed as many as three catches yesterday. However, it was not a problem that happened only during the Port Elizabeth ODI as Shreyas Iyer missed an easy catch at deep mid-wicket to give David Miller a life in Jo’ burg and that eventually became one of the turning points in the game. 

Speaking to Harsha Bhogle after the end of the game for Sony Six, Gavaskar analysed the concern and said, “While their fielding is very good, they need to really get better at their catching. That’s a recent concern for the team. If you want to win World Cup, you can’t drop catches. You have to take all the catches to be the best team in the world.”

India’s wrist-spinners have been so dominant in the series that even the main pacers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah – became a sideshow and Hardik Pandya’s failure as a bowler was almost taken out of the discussion. However, in Port Elizabeth, Pandya rose to the occasion as a bowler and was the chief protagonist in the hosts being restricted to a paltry score of 201 runs. Gavaskar praised him for his performance but quickly added that he can still improve.

“The fifth bowler was a worrying aspect in India’s arsenal but they have actually developed today. It is Hardik Pandya who was exceptional today. But sometimes he can be expensive as we have seen in the past. India need to look at that aspect and can be better.”

The South African chase had the regular script written all over it as they collapsed to wrist spinners yet again, who took six for 100 in the 19.2 overs between them to help India secure their first series win in South Africa in five bilateral series they have played so far. The series victory is down to their terrific contribution and Gavaskar brought out the example of Abdul Qadir and Shane Warne to praise the duo.

“I have seen some fantastic spinners in my life. I have seen Abdul Qadir. He was fantastic as a leg-spinner. I didn’t play against Shane Warne but watched him play. He was an artist. They were exceptional as far as setting the batsman up. And these two young Indian wrist spinners are exactly looking to do the same thing,” Gavaskar said. 

“While comparisons shouldn’t have happened between the players of two different eras and generations, these two guys are actually so very exciting to see. Tossing the ball up and tempting the batsmen to their doom is really exciting.” 

South Africa's battle with spin has been the main narrative of the series and never in the history has any spinner dominated the South African team like this on their home soil. While the pitch was the centre of attraction in all throughout the Tests, there were no real venoms on the wicket in ODI series and Shaun Pollock stated that this would hunt the hosts for a long time.

“It is a huge amount of concern for South Africa for sure. But, more than that the manner of the defeats are really worrisome. These are the comprehensive losses and South Africa lost the battle against the spinners completely. I think, India are in a good position for the World Cup next year with their two wrist spinners and they will be effective against all the teams,” Pollock said.

“South Africa have a lot of thinking to be done. Not only the balance of the team, the combination, the potency and they need to improve their ability of play spinners well. They need their experienced stars to stand up to the occasion as well. They have definitely left with more questions than answers at the end of this series. And most importantly, the worrying fact is that South Africa were beaten by spinners in their home conditions and it will hunt them for sure.”

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