India need to tighten batting against Ireland: Sunil Gavaskar
Former captain Sunil Gavaskar feels India need to tighten up their batting and go full throttle against Ireland on Tuesday to emerge as group table-toppers in the ongoing ICC cricket World Cup.
Hamilton: Former captain Sunil Gavaskar feels India need to tighten up their batting and go full throttle against Ireland on Tuesday to emerge as group table-toppers in the ongoing ICC cricket World Cup.
Defending champions India will take on Ireland here in their fifth match of the World Cup and Gavaskar said they should settle for nothing less than a win.
"Winning is the only thing that matters. There was a scare after Suresh Raina got out in the last match, also Virat Kohli's shot selection was a worry. So India need to tighten up their batting and play like it is the finals," Gavaskar told a television channel.
"Batters have to be careful about the swing in the air and off the pitch. It will be cooler in New Zealand then Australia. For bowlers, they will be happy because the ball will swing more. They have been the star for India, they dismissed all the teams so far," he added.
Asked if India should test the bench strength, Gavaskar said: "No, not with Ireland. India needs to win tomorrow to top their group. Ireland is a good side and Dhoni is right in not changing the winning combination.
"May be if they win against Ireland, they can try out a few things against Zimbabwe, may be a Stuart Binny or a Ambati Rayudu can be get a hit. But I don't think there should be any change against Ireland."
Bangladesh today knocked out England from the mega event with a 15-run win to set up a likely clash with defending champions India in the quarter finals and Gavaskar said Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men should not take them lightly if they meet in the knockout stage.
"I am so happy for Bangladesh cricket and their fans.
They have backed their team all these years and they have delivered. Mahmudullah batted brilliantly but Mushfiqur Rahim took the attack to the opposition when Mahmuddullah was slowing down while reaching his hundred. He has made terrific progress. He played brilliantly today," Gavaskar said.
"Shakib Al Hasan is another one. Bangladesh batting is coming on so well and on these Australian and New Zealand pitches, there bowling is getting that additional edge. So Bangladesh is a team to watch out for and not to be taken lightly by anybody, including India," he said.
India had lost to England twice during the tri-series ahead of the World Cup.
Gavaskar said: "In tri-nation series, India were experimenting. They were focused on World Cup. They were experimenting with combinations. So Ambati Rayudu got a bit of batting, Stuart Binny got to bowl. Guys who are not there, so I would not read too much in the tri-series defeats. This is where it counts. This is where men are separated from boys and England clearly are boys."