Johannesburg: Former India skipper-turned-commentator Sunil Gavaskar slammed Yuzvendra Chahal and Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team following their defeat in the fourth ODI against South Africa at Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday.
India, who were leading the side 3-0 ahead of the Pink ODI, missed out on a chance to win the fourth ODI and seal their first ever ODI series win in the Rainbow Nation.
While India, who had already seen the back of comeback man AB de Villiers, were in with a chance to win the rain-curtailed encounter, David Miller’s reprieve off Chahal after the Indian bowler bowled a no-ball, allowed the hometeam a chance to make a comeback in the match and the series.
Gavaskar was not too pleased with Chahal and the Indian team and came down heavily on them during the post-match show.
“For me, it was that no-ball where David Miller was clean bowled and the way he recovered from it. That, for me, was the turning point,” Gavaskar said.
“Till then, India seemed to be in control, they had also seen the back of AB de Villiers, who was batting well. When Miller was struggling to read Yuzvendra Chahal, India were certainly in the driver’s seat,” added Gavaskar.
He also opined that with the advent of modern technology, bowlers should not be bowling no-balls.
“I will be perfectly honest. In modern-day cricket, with all the technology available, nobody should be bowling no balls. One can understand bowling a wide, down the leg side because that (wide rule) is a very strict interpretation. There should ideally bowl no wides on the offside also,” said Gavaskar.
“Fast bowlers can sometimes overstep. However, because it’s 50-over cricket, because there is a free hit after the no ball, I don’t think fast-bowlers should also be bowling no-balls. They, after all, use a lot of tapes to measure from here to there [run-up distance] and then how does a no ball come through,” continued Gavaskar.
The Little Master was not too impressed with India’s approach in the game either. After scoring 289 runs, batting first, India, who were defending 202 runs in 28 overs (Duckworth / Lewis), could not close out the series as South Africa won the match in 25.3 overs.
For Gavaskar, there was a lack of professionalism from India.
“So clearly, I think there’s little bit of lack of professionalism there. Maybe a little bit of relaxation after the 3-0 situation and the South Africans took full advantage of it. They batted brilliantly after that, Miller batted brilliantly, (Heinrich) Klaassen was outstanding, (Andile) Phehlukwayo came in and smashed it,” concluded Gavaskar.
The fifth ODI between the two teams will be played at the St George's Park in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday....