Sunil Gavaskar: With the bench strength India has, it can definitely win more titles

Skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have announced their retirement after the T20 world Cup victory, but India has in Shubman Gill and Yashaswi Jaiswal, two young players ready to take up the mantle.

Published : Jul 04, 2024 13:16 IST - 5 MINS READ

Celebration time: The Indian team remained unbeaten in the tournament as it clinched its second World T20 title. 
Celebration time: The Indian team remained unbeaten in the tournament as it clinched its second World T20 title.  | Photo Credit: K. R. Deepak

Celebration time: The Indian team remained unbeaten in the tournament as it clinched its second World T20 title.  | Photo Credit: K. R. Deepak

India’s win in the ICC men’s T20 World Cup has not just satiated the Indian cricket fans’ craving for a World Cup but may have, in fact, increased the appetite for the same, looking at the fact that the team was unbeaten throughout the tournament. Even in the ODI World Cup, India lost only in the final, and so as far as the white-ball format is concerned, India definitely is a team that can be expected to win more titles. Of course, luck will play a part, but with the bench strength that India has, it is definitely doable.

In the T20 format, with two stalwarts, skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, announcing their retirements after the Barbados win, there are two big holes to fill. India has, in Shubman Gill, who will captain the team in Zimbabwe, and Yashasvi Jaiswal, two young players ready to take up the mantle. There’s also Abhishek Sharma and Ruturaj Gaikwad around, so there is a surplus of opening-batting riches.

The fact that the stalwarts have announced their retirement from only the T20 format does suggest that they are keen to play in the Champions Trophy next February. That could put the selectors in a bit of a quandary, as they may well want to start planning for the World Cup in 2027 sooner rather than later.

There were some comments about the scheduling of the ICC T20 World Cup from some former cricketers from the old powers that were laughable, to say the least. They seemed to forget the fact that the major, if not the only, source of sponsorship for the ICC comes from India. It is therefore understandable that the timing for the telecast will be at a time that is good for Indian viewers. Indian TV has bought the rights for three billion dollars and so, obviously, would want to cash in on that with prime-time viewing for the millions who follow the game in India, which, just for information, would be more than the combined population of both the old powers.

American TV buys broadcast rights for the Olympics for billions of dollars and so has all the marquee events at the Games at a time that is good for its viewers. We haven’t heard a squeak from anybody from the old powers that this favours the U.S. athletes, have we? But then, with them being poodles of USA that would be unwise. The double standards are no longer shocking to the discerning in the subcontinent because, by now, they know what to expect from the old powers. Nothing but jealousy and frustration that they no longer call the shots.

There was also a question raised in an Australian paper about the fairness of the catch that Suryakumar Yadav took to dismiss David Miller in the final. All the replays were quite clear that SKY had done a marvellous balancing act as he took the catch and flicked the ball up in the air before he crossed the boundary rope and then jumped in the air and caught the ball within the boundary to complete a fabulous catch. Nobody questioned the catch, but the writer of the article did. He may be interested to see the video floating around of the 10 most blatant cheating acts done by the Aussies before trying to point a finger at SKY. Pot calling the kettle black indeed.

Doing a story just to get eyeballs and accusing someone of cheating is dastardly. So is making allegations of indiscipline without a shred of evidence. Shubman Gill being made captain of the Indian team clearly rubbished the report that said he was sent back from the just-concluded World Cup for indiscipline. It was clearly understood by the team management and selectors that he was going to be around till the USA leg of the tournament and then come back to India to take a short break. Therefore, sullying a dedicated young man’s name for a few more eyeballs is simply not on. A few months ago, at the start of the year, it was Ishan Kishan who was accused of indiscipline, again without the tiniest bit of proof. Two good young cricketers whose names were spoilt just to get more views and likes. So sad.

What if both of these young men, who have millions of followers on the public media, did something similar to those who wrote these rubbish allegations? They could well use the same method of using the words ‘allegedly, reportedly, according to a reliable source in the paper’ to do a character assault on those who wrote the stories about them. Would those guys like it? I’m sure not.

Before you do such stories about those trying to make a career in Indian cricket, think about what would happen if similar stories without evidence were written about you. It can easily be a case of three fingers pointing back at those making the unfounded allegations.

So please cool it, guys, and help build the Indian team rather than trying to destroy it. After all, you also make your living writing about Indian cricket, so be fair to it.

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment