Sunil Gavaskar comes down hard on India for playing intra-squad match ahead of first Test against South Africa

India suffered their worst defeat on South African soil after the Rohit Sharma-led side suffered a defeat by an innings and 32 runs against South Africa at Centurion in the first of the two Test match series.

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India, batting first, put just 245 runs on the board, while South Africa managed to score 408 runs. Trailing by 163 runs, when the Rohit Sharma-led side came to bat, they tumbled for just 131 runs.

It was an embarrassing defeat for India and several fans and cricket pundits vented their anger at the players and the management. Meanwhile, India legend Sunil Gavaskar, criticised India for opting out of practice matches before the start of the series and rather going for an Intra-squad match.

Gavaskar labelled the Intra-squad match as a joke and even urged the players to remove the word ‘workload’ from their dictionary.

“You should play practice matches instead of intra-squad games. Fast bowlers may not bowl to their full capacity in intra-squad matches, which can affect the quality of practice. Would they bowl bouncers, as they would be scared about injuring their batters.”

“It would be preferable to play against the South Africa A team or have two or three matches against a county or a state, instead of the current schedule of playing only Test matches with a gap of seven days in between. The word ‘workload’ should be removed from Indian cricket’s vocabulary.”

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India’s Intra-squad game

Notably, India played an intra-squad match on December 21 at the SuperSport Park in Proteria. In that match, Shubman Gill scored a century. Whereas Gill failed miserably with the bat in the first match as he amassed just 2 and 26.

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