(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Wed 31 May 2023, 10:43 PM
Last updated: Wed 31 May 2023, 10:47 PM
Former captain Sunil Gavaskar believes Cheteshwar Pujara could provide valuable insights to his Indian teammates ahead of the World Test Championship final against Australia, having played extensively in the English County Championship.
With Pujara's knowledge and captaincy experience (at Sussex), his inputs could prove invaluable, especially against Australian batter Steve Smith, who is also a part of his county side.
The WTC final is scheduled to be held at the Oval in London from June 7-11.
“The fact that he is been around will mean that he will have also seen how the pitch has been behaving at The Oval.
“He might not have played at The Oval, he might be in Sussex not too far away from London but he will have kept an eye on what is happening and his inputs will be invaluable as far as the batting unit is concerned or even as far as the captaincy is concerned,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.
“He will have the captains here as far as the Oval pitch is concerned and don't forget he has also been captaining the team, so he definitely will have worked out quite a few strategies seeing that Steve Smith, the Australian is his teammate at the moment.”
Gavaskar also said the Indian batters, coming off the IPL, will have to adjust their bat speed ahead of the WTC final, and advised them to play as late as possible.
“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 speeds got to be a lot more control, that is something they'll need to do,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.
He also emphasized the need for batters to play as late as possible in English conditions, allowing for swing and avoiding the mistake of reaching out for the ball.
“They'll need to play in England as late as possible to allow for the swing to do it's bit, not to reach out for the ball which often a lot of people make the mistake having played on good pitches.
“Wherever you play on good pitches, you tend to play through the line, not necessarily half volleys, but in England those deliveries can move just that little bit. So, I think those are the things that as a batter you need to watch out for.” He asked the bowlers to bowl fuller length deliveries to allow the Dukes ball to swing.
“As a bowling unit also you'll need to bowl a much fuller length for your new ball, for the bowlers to be able to get the movement in the air as well as after pitching.” Gavaskar highlighted the challenges India would face playing in English conditions.
“I think the English conditions are challenging because firstly we are used to play with the sun on our backs. When you are playing in England, often you are playing in conditions where there is no sun, it's a little overcast, the weather is a little bit cooler, so you sometimes wear a jumper.
“That's something that you know, the Indian player, West Indian players and Sri Lankan players are not really used to so that can be just a little bit of a dampener, little sort of light but you just feel little bit encumbered by that.
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“So, that is one thing and because in these conditions the ball tends to swing in the air not just after pitching which doesn't happen in India and therefore the swing in the air is what sometimes can take you some time to get used to“...and which is a reason people generally when you are going overseas suggest that you should may be play two or three warm-up matches, which will give you a better idea of what to get when you are playing in a test match,” he added.