“Sunil Gavaskar Wasn’t The Best India Captain But…”: Shashi Tharoor Makes Interesting Observation

Indian cricket has seen many great captains who took the game to the next level. Be it the terrific Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi or Ajit Wadekar or Sourav Ganguly, every one left an indelible mark on the sport. However, when it comes to most successful Indian captains, two names which come first to the mind are Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni. Both achieved great success by winning World Cups as India skippers. The Indian Board has often given the captaincy armbands to batting and bowling greats too. Bishan Singh Bedi, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli are part of that list. They achieved success as captain in varying degrees.

Talking about Gavaskar – the India captain, Shashi Tharoor, Congress leader and Member of Parliament, made an interesting observation on Wednesday: “Sunil Gavaskar wasn’t the best captain India (cricket team) had, but he wasn’t too bad.”

He made the comments during the launch of former BCCI General Manager Amrit Mathur’s book: “Pitchside: My life in Indian cricket”

Gavaskar led India in 47 Tests, from 1975 to 1985. Under him India won nine matches, drew 30 and lost eight games. He also led in 37  ODIs, out of which India won 14 matches and lost 21.

Gavaskar has been known to be straightforward with his observations. He was recently critical of the Indian team management after the loss in the World Test Championship final.

“The selectors and board should be asking questions, ‘Why did you field first (at WTC final)?. Okay, it was explained at the toss that it was overcast and all. The question after that should be, you didn’t know about Travis Head‘s weakness against the short ball?” Gavaskar said at The Indian Express Idea Exchange.

“Why was the bouncer employed only when he had scored 80 runs. You know, the moment Head came into the bat, in the commentary box, we had Ricky Ponting saying, ‘Bounce him, bounce him.’ Everyone knew about it but we didn’t try. Mind you, if I was in the commentary box, I would never tell anyone about an India player’s weakness. This is where the selection committee should be calling both captain and coach and asking, ‘Hello, what happened?’.”

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