London: Former captain Sunil Gavaskar has reminded Ravi Shastri that India had won Test series in West Indies and England, a day after the under-fire coach claimed his side has better overseas record than teams of the last 15-20 years.
While India lost yet another Test series away from home following the 60-run defeat in the fourth Test against England at Southampton, head coach Shastri insisted the current side is better travellers than the teams of the last 15-20 years.
Gavaskar, once a teammate and captain of Shastri, recalled some of the series wins abroad by Indian teams of the past. “All I can say is that no Indian team has won in Sri Lanka for a long time. But we have won in the West Indies, in England, Test matches in Australia and South Africa,” Gavsakar told ‘India Today’ on Thursday.
The last time India won a Test series in England was in 2007, under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy. The batting great said, “What I can say is that teams in 1980s have won in England and West Indies. Rahul Dravid also won series in West Indies in 2005, in England in 2007 and captained when India beat South Africa for the first time (in South Africa).
“Dravid gets very little credit for his leadership and his team’s wins. There have been teams who have won overseas.” Gavaskar criticised the batsmen for their inability to tackle England spinner Moeen Ali, who ended the game with nine wickets.
“Lack of footwork has hurt Indian batsmen, they are not getting to the pitch of the ball against Moeen Ali. This comes from playing too much of white ball cricket, in one-dayers you won’t have four slips when pacers are bowling and you can hit through the line.” Though England have sealed it in their favour with three wins in four Tests, Gavaskar said the assessment of the team should be done after the last Test at the Oval.
“I think that’s something that needs to be looked at by the end of the series. During the series, I understand saying that we are still good to keep morale up. There is still one Test to go. A real assessment has to be made on September 12, when series ends,” Gavaskar said on the eve of the fifth and final Test. He also believed that young Prithvi Shaw can be played as an opener. “I believe you can play Prithvi Shaw, there is no harm in playing him as an opener.”