Former Indian captain, Sunil Gavaskar, has questioned the wisdom of the BCCI’s acceptance of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Shikhar Dhawan’s decision not to play domestic cricket after being excluded from the tour to Australia.
‘We shouldn’t ask Dhawan and Dhoni “Why are you not playing domestic cricket?”. We should, in fact, ask the BCCI and selectors why are they allowing players to skip domestic cricket when they are not on national duty,’ Gavaskar said on India Today.
‘If the Indian team has to do well, players have to be in prime form and for that they have to play cricket.’
Dhawan is based in Melbourne during the off-season, but he hasn’t been included in the Indian side for the Test series against Australia.
Dhoni has retired from Test cricket and has taken a break from international cricket following the recent ODI series against the West Indies, but is likely to play in the ODI series against Australia in January.
Gavaskar highlighted the fact that Dhoni ‘didn’t play the T20Is against Australia, before that he didn’t play the West Indies Tests, and then he is not playing the Test series against Australia. So, he last played in October and will next play in January, which is a huge gap. But if he doesn’t do well on tours of Australia and New Zealand, then there will be more questions asked on his place in the World Cup.
‘As you grow older and if there is a gap in your [competitive] cricket, your reflexes will slow down. If you play any form of cricket at the domestic level, you get an opportunity to play long innings, which serves as a good practice for you,’ added Gavaskar.
Photo: Philip Brown/Reuters