Sunil Gavaskar on Wednesday expressed surprise at South African skipper Dean Elgar’s decision to bat first in the second Test against India.
Former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar on Wednesday expressed surprise at South African skipper Dean Elgar‘s decision to bat first in the second Test against India. Elgar’s decision backfired as South Africa were bundled out for 55, their lowest total against India. India were on course for a big lead until losing their last six wickets for no run to be all out for 153, limiting their first innings advantage to 98 runs. “Well, I tell you what, I was a bit surprised by what happened,” Gavaskar said in his match analysis on Star Sports.
“Because a lot of times, captains and coaches make a big deal about what the pitch is gonna be…”
Having annihilated India inside three days in the opening Test, South Africa had the perfect opportunity to take the upper hand by inserting them in on a fresh pitch, Gavaskar opined.
“I think you’ve also got to look at the psychology of the Indian team, having been defeated in three days, having batted so poorly in the second innings and going to be batting first on a fresh pitch would have been just a little bit defensive,” Gavaskar said.
“And I have thought that South Africans with the fast bowlers that they have in their lineup could look to take advantage of the fact that they have not played any cricket in between and therefore put them in,” he added.
Gavaskar further recalled the Adelaide Test against Australia where India were bowled out for 36 only to make a comeback in the Melbourne Test en route to scripting a memorable 2-1 triumph in the four-match series in 2020-21.
“Something similar happened in Australia two years ago, Australia dismissed India for 36. The next Test played in Melbourne, where the grass on the pitch was three millimetres more than the one at Adelaide,” he added.