Gavaskar critical of the Aussies

Former Indian great Sunil Gavaskar has come out strongly against the dominant Australian sides of the past, saying he was pleased by their recent downfall.

Writing in his column for India Today, Gavaskar, widely seen as one of the greatest opening batsmen ever, said Australia’s recent defeats to England in the Commonwealth Bank series and New Zealand in the Chappell-Hadlee series should “gladdened the hearts of not just the other aspirants for the World Cup but also the followers of the game.”

“There is not the slightest doubt that in the past decade or so the Aussies have been awesome in batting, bowling and fielding which has taken them to the top of the cricketing ladder in both Test and limited-overs cricket,” he said.

“But they have also been awful in the way they have sometimes behaved on the field much to the chagrin of the traditional fans of the game.

“Unlike the West Indies teams of the 1970s and 1980s which dominated world cricket in much the same way as the Australians are doing now, the Australians are not popular winners.

“The Windies were feared for the ferocity of their attack and the aggression of their batsmen but at the end of the playing day the West Indian player was not only admired but also liked.

“They went about their job in a no fuss manner and hardly had anything to say to the opponents, unlike the Aussies who have plenty to say and seldom in a humorous way. Banter works – abuse doesn’t.”

However, Gavaskar was not prepared to write the Australian’s World Cup chances off, saying only a fool “would rule out the Australians as the favourites to win the World Cup for the third consecutive time.”

Gavaskar scored over 10000 Test and 3000 ODI runs in his illustrious career.

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