Virat Kohli (above) captained India in the first Test in place of an injured Dhoni © Getty Images
Virat Kohli (above) captained India in the first Test in place of an injured Dhoni © Getty Images

Dec 20, 2014

Sunil Gavaskar was of the view that it was always going to be a mountainous task for India to bounce back after losing the first Test against Australia at Adelaide. He said It is never easy for a touring team to recover from losing the first match of a series, for then, it is only playing catch up with the opposition.

He went on to express his views about Virat Kohli‘s decision to chase the target. “Kohli’s approach to the target cannot be faulted, for if the team had gone in looking to save the game they would have lost much earlier,” he said in his column for Times of India.

“Having been part of chasing quite a few fourth innings targets, one can safely say that each ball should be played on its merit and that is the only way to play the game when one is chasing a huge score,” he said emphasizing on the importance of not trying to hit every ball aggressively.

He then pointed out where India faltered, “Pressing on for a win when it was out of bounds was nothing short of suicidal and it resulted in India starting the series with a defeat.” He added, “After the loss of Rohit Sharma’s wicket India should have batted sensibly rather than looking to only go for the big shots.

According to the legend it is very essential to at least save the opening game, “Saving the first game keeps you in the series. Losing it gets you on the backfoot, but because most people were excited at Kohli, in his debut game as skipper, getting a century in each innings, the bigger picture that India lost the Test has been forgotten.

He praised the Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon saying, “Nathan Lyon was under huge pressure before the Adelaide Test as questions were being asked about his place in the side. He ended up with 12 wickets and spun Australia to a win.” He also added that some of the wickets were pure gifts, “Even he (Lyon) will agree that some of the wickets in the second innings were fortuitous and gifted to him by some pretty ordinary shots.”