Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar has highlighted the technical adjustments required by Indian batsmen ahead of the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final, scheduled to be held at the Oval from June 7. Gavaskar emphasized the importance of controlling bat speed and adjusting to the slower pace of test cricket after playing the fast-paced T20 format. He also stressed the need for batsmen to play late in English conditions to account for swing and avoid the common mistake of reaching out for the ball.
Speaking on ‘Follow the Blues’ on Star Sports, Gavaskar shared his insights, saying, “I think they are going to look at their bat speed. Coming from T20 where the bat speed is very fast to test cricket where the bat speed has to be more controlled, that is something they will need to do. They will need to play in England as late as possible to allow for the swing to have an impact, not to reach out for the ball which is a mistake many players make after playing on good pitches.”
In addition to discussing the technical aspects, Gavaskar highlighted the challenges of playing in English conditions. He mentioned the overcast weather, cooler temperatures, and the unfamiliarity of Indian, West Indian, and Sri Lankan players with such conditions. Gavaskar stressed the importance of acclimatizing to swing in the air, which is more prevalent in England compared to India. He suggested that playing warm-up matches before the test match would provide valuable experience and preparation.
Gavaskar also acknowledged the insights that batsman Cheteshwar Pujara could bring to the team, having experienced the conditions at the Oval. While Pujara might not have played at the Oval itself, his observations from being in Sussex and his captaincy experience would be invaluable to the team’s batting unit and overall strategy. Gavaskar highlighted the significance of Pujara’s knowledge, especially when facing Australian batsman Steve Smith, who is currently Pujara’s teammate.
“The fact that he has been around means that he will have seen how the pitch has been behaving at the Oval. He might not have played at the Oval, but he will have kept an eye on what is happening, and his inputs will be invaluable for the batting unit and the captaincy. He will have insights into the Oval pitch, and don’t forget he has also captained the team, so he definitely will have worked out quite a few strategies, considering that Steve Smith, the Australian, is his teammate at the moment,” Gavaskar explained.
With the WTC final fast approaching, Indian batsmen will need to make the necessary technical adjustments and adapt to the unique challenges posed by English conditions. Gavaskar’s advice serves as a valuable reminder for the Indian team as they aim to claim the prestigious WTC title against New Zealand.