Former India cricketer, Sunil Gavaskar was furious over Team India’s playing XI for the 5th Test against England at the Oval.
Indian team management made two changes in the playing XI. Ravindra Jadeja replaced R Ashwin who aggravated his niggle in the previous Test and Hardik Pandya was dropped from the team to accommodate Hanuma Vihari who becomes India’s latest Test player. Interestingly Vihari was included in the team at the expense of Karun Nair who is traveling with the team for some time. And this decision has left Gavaskar fuming.
Speaking at a cricket show after the toss, Gavaskar said that Nair deserves an answer from the team management for being left out of the playing XI. Nair was part of the team from the beginning of the Test series while Vihari was included in the team after the third Test and he was primarily included as a cover for Virat Kohli who suffered from a stiff back in the third Test.
Gavaskar said that Nair has every right to ask the team management why he is not in the team. He deserves an answer. The former Indian batsman pointed out the bizarre selection patterns of the team management and said that you didn’t pick a specialist batsman earlier, but now that you have, Karun Nair deserves an answer.
Gavaskar also made serious acquisitions on the team management and claimed that Nair is not team management’s favorite player. The selectors seem to have brought him. He also said that he doesn’t think that the team management likes him.
Fans and cricket analysts too reacted on Twitter on this issue.
The prominent was Harsha Bhogle.
India's selectors have just made a damning statement of what they think of Karun Nair as a player. Very very hard on him. Would love to know what he was told when the team was announced.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 7, 2018
There were others too.
Anyone who tells me that Hanuma Vihari has been picked because he has a bradman-like batting average…I will say rubbish. Vihari has been picked only because he can bowl bit of off-spin. Karun Nair has all the reasons to get furious now. @BCCI https://t.co/OSkLss9gRw
— G. S. Vivek (@GSV1980) September 7, 2018
Would not like to be Karun Nair right now. Sat through the Afghanistan Test and now the England series. Not considered when finally India adds a batsman.
— Saurabh Malhotra (@MalhotraSaurabh) September 7, 2018
— ashu (@ashutosh2369) September 7, 2018
— Raju Anandhan (@RajuAnandhan1) September 7, 2018
Shame on @BCCI for selecting Hanuma Vihari ahead Karun Nair. Benefits of having MSK Prasad from Andhra as a selector.
Teluguites are so regionalistic
— Sharath M (@sharathMiyer) September 7, 2018
Karun Nair made his debut in Test cricket against England and scored a triple hundred in his only third Test. But he failed to perform in the next Test series against Australia and since then hasn’t found a place in India’s playing XI.
Vihari, on the other hand, was in incredible form in domestic cricket and did well during India A’s recent tours. In fact, Vihari’s first-class average is the highest among all current players across the world.