Sunil Gavaskar, a former captain of India, has talked about the technique changes Indian batters will need to make for the World Test Championship final, which will be held at the Oval starting June 7.
Gavaskar stressed how important it was to be able to control the speed of the bat. He did this by pointing out the change from the fast-paced T20 game to the more controlled bat speed needed for test cricket. He also said that batters should play as late as possible in England, letting the ball swing and not making the mistake of trying to catch it.
“I think they will look at how fast they swing the bat. Coming from T20, where bat speed is very fast, to test cricket, where bat speed needs to be much more controlled, this is something they will need to do. They will need to play in England as late as possible to give the swing a chance to work. “People who have played on good pitches often make the mistake of reaching for the ball,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports’ ‘Follow the Blues’.
“When you play on good courts, you usually play through the line. You don’t have to play half-volleys, but in England, those shots can move just a little bit. So, I think those are the things you should watch out for as a hitter. As a bowling team, you’ll also need to bowl a much longer distance with your new ball so that your bowlers can get movement both in the air and after throwing.
“I think the conditions in England are hard because, for one thing, we’re used to playing with the sun on our backs. When you play in England, it’s often cloudy and a bit cooler, so you might wear a jumper. That’s something that Indian, West Indian, and Sri Lankan players aren’t used to, so it can be a little bit of a downer. It’s not a big deal, but it makes you feel a little bit weighed down.
“So, that’s one thing. Also, in these conditions, the ball tends to swing in the air, not just after being pitched, which doesn’t happen in India. The swing in the air can take some time to get used to, which is why people usually recommend playing two or three warm-up games before going overseas. This will give you a better idea of what to expect when you play in a test match.”
Gavaskar also talked about the difficulties of playing in England, such as the cloudy weather and the way the air moves, which Indian, West Indian, and Sri Lankan players had never seen before. He also talked about how Cheteshwar Pujara could help the team because he knew what it was like to play at The Oval. With his knowledge and experience as captain, Pujara’s advice could be very helpful, especially against Steve Smith, an Australian batsman.
“Since he has been around, he will also have seen how the pitch at The Oval has been acting. He might not have played at The Oval because he is in Sussex, which is not too far from London. However, he will have kept an eye on what is going on, and his advice will be very helpful for the batting unit or even for the captaincy. “He will have the captains here on the Oval pitch, and don’t forget that he is also the team captain, so he will have worked out a lot of plans, especially since Steve Smith, an Australian, is on his team right now,” he said.