Sunil Gavaskar believes that presence of former skipper MS Dhoni is a blessing for Rohit Sharma. The experience that Dhoni posses is a “priceless commodity” for the team according to Gavaskar.
India is playing in the six-nation Asia Cup 2018 tournament in UAE without skipper Virat Kohli who is given a rest ahead of series against Australia. India will be playing Hong Kong Today followed by a match against arch-rivals Pakistan tomorrow.
Speaking on the team performance and prospects of Asia Cup 2018, Gavaskar said, “India have a great mix of youth and experience and their skipper Rohit Sharma loves the 50-over format and will look to add a couple of tons to his record. He is fortunate to have MS Dhoni besides him to guide him during tough times.”
He further added, “Dhoni’s experience is a priceless commodity that’s impossible to quantify and his guidance of the young spinners is legendary.”
India will be pitted against Pakistan for the first time since the ICC Champions Trophy finale in June 2017, that India lost. Back-to-back games of India in the tournament has miffed Rohit Sharma who has his reasons to believe that such schedule in such oppressive conditions. Gavaskar has also questioned the logic behind successive matches of India. In his Times of India column, he wrote, “India’s first game against Hong Kong will be a nice warmup for the sterner battle the next day against Pakistan. How the organisers scheduled two back-to-back games for India — with the second game being against Pakistan — is hard to understand, but that’s the way it is. Hong Kong have got to the Emirates after a hard-fought qualifying event, beating some other fancied associate teams in the bargain. They were overwhelmed by Pakistan in their first game and will now be looking to better their efforts against India. Normally India would like to bat first to give their batsmen valuable game time, but because they play Pakistan the very next day, they would like to finish the game early and reserve energy for that much-anticipated encounter.”
He is also excited about the bowling talent playing Asia Cup 2018, especially the wrist-spinning pair of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. They both have enjoyed success in the last 18 months and Gavaskar wrote, “India’s batting is generally the star attraction but this time around the variety they have in their bowling is also worth going miles to see. The two wrist-spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, in their different ways pick wickets regularly and then the way they rush to congratulate each other is reminiscent of the great spin quartet of the 70s, who also took great delight in each other’s success.”
Gavaskar thinks the Asia Cup will give a reason to fans to cheer up after the Test series against England.
“India start their campaign to win not just the Asia Cup but also the fans they have lost after the recent tour of England,” he wrote. “The high expectations from the English tour were belied and so some disenchantment that has crept in. A solid winning performance in the Asia Cup will make up greatly for that and win back those who were ready to turn their backs on India cricket.”