Gavaskar critical of spinners` performance in 2nd Test

New Delhi: Former captain Sunil Gavaskar on Monday criticised the performance of Indian spinners during the humiliating 10-wicket defeat against England in the second Test here, saying allowing the visitors to score over 400 runs proved costly to the home side.

"The England spin duo did a very good job but what were Indian spinners doing. They allowed England to score 50-odd runs more in their first innings and that too at run-a-ball. How did they allow England to cross 400?" Gavaskar asked.

"The Indian batsmen also did not do well in the Test and they should have been a little better in their application. But more than the batsmen, the spinners had failed to do their job," he said.

Gavaskar said he was not surprised at captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni insisting on a turning track for the third Test in Kolkata also but re-iterated that the ploy of preparing rank turners had boomeranged on India.
"I am not surprised at his comments because he had already said it earlier that he wants turning tracks. But the question you should ask him is, how his slow bowlers are going to make amends. If they continue like in the third Test also, the result is also certain.
"England have two very good spinners in Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann and they will exploit the conditions and the ploy will backfire again. So, if you want to persist what can one say," Gavaskar told NDTV.
He said that the curator at Eden Gardens, the venue of the third Test which begins on December 5, may not provide the type of pitch Dhoni wants.

"I know the curator of Eden Gardens personally and he has his own mind. We may see a pitch different from what Dhoni wants," said Gavaskar.

Talking about the home side batsmen, Gavaskar felt that it was an unusual situation to see the Indians struggling against the visiting spinners.

"Indians were supposed to be good players of spin and England batsmen were supposed to struggle against Indian spinners. But now the exact opposite is happening. The Indians are struggling against England spinners while the England batsmen were playing Indian spinners better.

"Indian batsmen should learn from the the application of England captain Alastair Cook in this match. He (Cook) made sure that his side was not low in morale after the nine-wicket drubbing in the first Test. He ensured that there is no panic among his players on spin-friendly conditions after the big loss in first Test," Gavaskar said.

"There were not many performers in England side but Cook and Kevin Pietersen ensured that they hung around, spend time at the middle to take a healthy lead. That was the difference between the two teams," he said.

Gavaskar also slammed the "casual" attitude of the Indian players in the second Test.

"Overall, I think a little bit of complacency had crept in among the players after the Ahmedabad win. This was evident every morning of the second Test.

"Today, the Indian players reached nets just 45 minutes before the start but they should have been at the nets more than one hour ahead of the start. And some players were just strolling as if the match is over and nothing can be done. This casual approach gives out a wrong signal to the opposition team."