While the Indian men’s and women’s cricket teams might have lost their last matches of 2023, it is fair to say that the Rohit Sharma-led side and the Harmanpreet Kaur-led sides have had some memorable results in the past 12 months. As we said goodbye to 2023 on Monday, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar analysed the performances of both, the men’s and women’s team. The batting great hailed the women’s team for their historic wins over England and Australia earlier. Under the leadership of Harmanpreet, the women’s team defeated England and Australia in one-off Tests, also outplaying the two best teams in the world.
“I think it’s been a fantastic year for both the men’s and the women’s team, particularly the way the women’s team has performed. Those two Test wins towards the year-end, one against England and one against Australia, both teams against whom the Indian women’s team have had tough times earlier on,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports show ‘Follow the Blues’.
The men’s team, on the other hand, won the Asia Cup as well as the Hangzhou Asian Games gold medal. However, Rohit and his men lost to Australia in both the World Test Championship and ODI World Cup finals.
“That’s been the most exciting aspect of cricket apart from, of course, what we saw in the World Cup. The 10 straight wins, and, then, just that one bad day, which sadly happened to be the finals of the World Cup. So really some exciting times in 2023,” he added.
While the women’s team will take on Australia in third and final ODI of a three-match series on Tuesday, the men’s team will kick off new year with the second Test against South Africa, starting December 3 in Cape Town.
India had lost the first Test to South Africa by an innings and 32 runs, drawing criticism from former players, including Gavaskar.
The 74-year-old highlighted the absence of practice matches as one of the biggest reasons behind the result embarrasing result.
“The reasons are straightforward – you didn’t play any matches here. If you straightaway play Test matches, it doesn’t work out. Yes, you sent the India A team. The India A team should actually come before the tour,” he said on Star Sports.
“You need to play practice matches after coming here. Intra-squad is a joke because would your fast bowlers bowl extremely fast to your batters, would they bowl bouncers, as they would be scared about injuring their batters,” he said.
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