‘A truck could have gone between bat and pad’ – Sunil Gavaskar rips into India openers after poor show

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar slammed Indian openers Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal for their poor outing in the visitors’ first innings of the first Test against Australia on Thursday. Both the openers failed to make an impact and were dismissed cheaply by the Australian pacers. While Shaw got on a duck in the very first over, Agarwal scored 17 off 40 balls.

Shaw was removed on the second ball of the first over by Mitchell Starc, who bowled a brilliant inswinger which pierced through the gap between the right-hander’s bat and pad. Shaw was looking to defend but his poor movement resulted in a gap which was utilised well by Starc.

“Even today, have a look at where his bat ends. There is such a big gap between bat and pad. Just the second delivery of the game and you want to make sure that you are playing with soft hands. You are playing as late as possible. The whole idea in Test match cricket is that you don’t go there. Then you are leaving that much of a gap between bat and pad, allowing for any late movement, either to get an inside edge or snick between bat and pad,” Sunil Gavaskar said on 7 Cricket as he spoke about Shaw’s dismissal.

“The trick is to try and play as close to the pads as possible, which means your bat speed has to be minimal at the start of the innings. As you grow in confidence, yes then you go and play your shots. But at the start when you are not even off the mark, you want to try and reduce your bat speed. Don’t leave any gap between bat and pad,” Gavaskar added.

Gavaskar also slammed Agarwal, who was dismissed in a similar fashion as Shaw after a peach of a delivery from Pat Cummins. Gavaskar said a truck could have gone past the gap between the bat and pad of Agarwal.

“Well again, you can have a look at this. He’s (Mayank) played very hard at the ball, later on. This particular shot shows that the bat is close to the pad. It wasn’t. The ball snicked through there was such a big gap..a truck could have gone. A truck could have gone between that bat and pad. So that’s what the Indians are making a big mistake,” said Gavaskar on Agarwal’s dismissal.

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Vishwas Gupta