Sunil Gavaskar gave an intriguing ‘boys vs men’ analogy upon the conclusion of India’s tour of West Indies.
The Indian cricket team had a mixe outing on the tour of West Indies. After winning the Test series 1-0, the team somehow managed to beat the hosts in the ODI assignment 2-1. But, the T20I series was a true wake-up call. India went down 0-2 after losing the first two matches and then bounced back to win the next two, making it 2-2. But, the 5th and final T20I resulted in an embarrassing defeat, prompting many to question the state of affairs in the team.
Many rookie stars, including the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Mukesh Kumar, etc. were brought into the team. While a few of them clicked on an individual level, the team performance was widely missing. Sunil Gavaskar, an India great, gave an intriguing boys vs men analogy looking at the way the West Indies tour concluded.
“A player could do well at the franchise level, but when it comes to playing for the country, it’s a different ball game of pressures and expectations. It is one step up, which can be too steep for even some of the best performers at the franchise level. How often have we seen this when the Under-19 performers just aren’t able to take that one step up from a boys’ tournament to a men’s competition?,” he wrote in a column on Sportstar.
“Yes, the kids look great playing against kids, but when they come up against the men, they suddenly find that what looks like a piece of cake at the under-19 level is more like mud at the senior level. That’s why so many who looked good at the boys’ level have been found wanting at the senior level. It’s not just the temperament; even the skill set is way below the standard required at the franchise level. Then, having been bought for crores, some of these youngsters lose the fire in the belly and are happy to cruise along in later years and get their contracts extended, even if it is for a lesser amount,” he further penned.
Gavaskar maintained tha the T20I series defeat against West Indies shouldn’t be a dampener for the Indian team considering that the men from the Caribbean have won the T20 World Cup twice in their history.
“The loss to West Indies should not be a dampener. Don’t forget that they have won the ICC T20 World Cup twice, and their players are matchwinners for the different franchises they play for in the IPL. So, they are a top-class T20 team, and there’s no shame in losing to them. It should be a wake-up call, though, to see the areas where India needs to improve to strengthen its side. Some of those who were rested for this series may not be around for too long, so their replacements need to be found pretty quickly too, as the next ICC T20 World Cup is just a year away,” he explained.