Former Indian cricketer and world cup hero Gautam Gambhir is not at all impressed over the decision of Indian skipper and team management to drop spinner Varun Chakravarthy from the ongoing5 match t20I series against England.
Well, mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy was selected for the T20 series against England, however, the 29-year-old spinner failed to clear the mandatory fitness test and was ruled out of the ongoing five-match T20I series. As per the reports, besides Varun, Rajasthan Royal’s all-rounder Rahul Tewatia has also not cleared the fitness tests and he may also be released from the squad. It was a perfect opportunity for both the cricketers to make their debut for the Indian cricket team.
Earlier, Varun was also selected for the Australia tour however he was ruled out because of a shoulder injury. He did his rehabilitation at the NCA however he failed at the mandatory fitness test ahead of the T20I series against England. He failed the YoYo (17.1) and 2km (8 minutes) fitness test.
Meanwhile, Gautam Gambhir feels that while it is fair to have cricketers clear these fitness tests, however, every player should be given time to reach the benchmark. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Gambhir stated that Virat or Hardik Pandya took years to set this benchmark and thus players should be given time to reach there. He said:
“It really depends on the player. Ultimately, if there is a benchmark you got to just achieve it, as simple as it gets. But then people like Virat Kohli have come to that stage over a period of time; they haven’t got to that stage straightaway,”
“So, for example, someone like Rahul Tewatia, who plays for Haryana, or Varun Chakravarthy, who doesn’t play a lot of domestic cricket, to achieve that benchmark will always be difficult to get to the level of Virat Kohli or Hardik Pandya or Kl Rahul – it takes years and years to build that kind of fitness.”
“You have got to give players time. If he (Kohli) is setting a standard, if he feels that he can achieve that standard and he wants everyone to achieve that standard. But give young players time to achieve that standard. You can’t expect everyone to have the same fitness that you have got. Everyone is different,”
During the interaction, Gambhir also talked about the new culture of elite fitness level in the Indian team. He said that the team management should first observe the work ethics of these young cricketers and keep them in the squad and then make a decision on their fitness. He said:
“So that is the reason why I am saying: that okay, you got to look at the work ethics which are important. You don’t expect players like Tewatia and Chakravarthy to reach the benchmark straightaway. If they come unfit, if they are not able to match those benchmarks, if their work ethics are not up to the mark then probably you can take the decision.”
“But if they are working really hard in the gym and are putting in every effort as much as they can, you have got to appreciate their hard work as well. All that you can see is when they are with the squad,”