Will India win Perth Test? I am not giving up hopes, says Sunil Gavaskar

first_imgIndia need 175 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the four-match series, Australia need 5 wickets to go on level terms. but former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar is still hopeful of an Indian victory in the Perth Test.Chasing an improbable target of 287 for a win, India crawled to 112 for 5 at the close of play on Day, with Hanuma Vihari 24 not out and Rishabh Pant unbeaten on nine.Gavaskar had really sounded optimistic about India’s chances during his commentary stint on Sony Six earlier in the day. He said Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari have an opportunity to prove themselves at the highest level.”I wasn’t being sarcastic at all, I was genuinely saying…cricket is a game where things have happened which were so unpredictable. If we have a fabulous partnership between two of the not out batsmen…both young players…both wanting to prove themselves at the highest level. What a wonderful opportunity it is for these two young batsmen Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari to show that they belong here and take India home,” Gavaskar told India Today.”I am saying this because not a single wicket fell in the pre-lunch session on Day 4..so if India can actually do that and not lose a single wicket and at the same time with Pant at the crease India will add much more than the Australian pair of Tim Paine and Usman Khawaja did on Day 4. If Pant is still not out at lunch you can be pretty certain that India will have score at least a hundred runs. If India get 100 runs by lunch with Hanuma Vihari also there then we are looking at 75 to win…so it’s possible..I am not giving up hopes at all. I know after this there’s this lower order or tail with bowlers coming in to bat…very hopeful that if we stick till lunch, we can still turn it around,” he added.advertisementTim Paine led by example with a hard-fought 37 to bat through the morning session alongside Usman Khawaja (72) as Australia made 243 in their second innings.”The decisive moment [for me] was in the morning when India were not able to separate both Tim Paine and Usman Khawaja,” the legendary batsman said.Gavaskar was also critical of the Indian team after an ugly war of words between captain Virat Kohli and his Australia counterpart Paine during the fourth day. Kohli and Paine collided with each other before the umpire was forced to intervene in the first session.And then during India’s innings, Paine had a go at Vijay and said: “Murali, I know he’s your captain but you can’t seriously like him as a bloke.”Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar also blasted Kohli’s on-field behaviour and said the India skipper needed to be more responsible.On Monday, Gavaskar said the Indian team are no saints and he believed they were the ones who began the sledging war in Australia and now they had to be prepared to cop it. Ironically, Kohli had promised his men won’t start any verbal wars and would react only if the Australians played dirty.”Tim Paine is not in the Indian dressing room.. So how does he know Vijay does not like Kohli?,” Gavaskar told India Today.”These are the kind of things which are called gamesmanship. We have not been saints either. Way back in 2014, when Australia were down with the tragic death of Phillip Hughes, we started it. They were too shocked in the first Test and we started it.”In a situation like this, we will always lose. Australia are used to playing like that, we are not. It’s not in our DNA to play cricket like that. You also have to take into account if everyone in the team can take it. Even over here, we have started it,” Gavaskar said.Also Read | Virat Kohli best batsman but world’s worst-behaved player: Naseeruddin ShahAlso Read | Prithvi Shaw ruled out of Test series in Australia, Mayank Agarwal named replacementAlso Read | Hardik Pandya to join Team India in Australia, likely to play Boxing Day Testlast_img

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