Ind vs Eng: Late announcement of Gambhir's inclusion surprises Kapil Dev
Manchester: Yesterday morning during warm-up, members of the Indian squad came up to congratulate opener Gautam Gambhir who found himself in the playing XI after 20 long months.
Gautam Gambhir and Kapil Dev
But this did not go down well with former India captain Kapil Dev. "Why is the team congratulating a player who has returned to the XI after 20 months?" he asked, before adding: "Am I to believe that he was not told before this morning that he would play.
It's an important Test. Gambhir is an experienced player as well as the opener. Couldn't he be told earlier? They should not have enacted this drama in public. They should have told him in the dressing room earlier."
Kapil recalled his days as skipper and pointed out that the team management would announce whoever was in the XI at least the evening before a Test so that the player could be mentally prepared, or at least inform 12 players with the caveat that the XI would be announced in the morning.
"But this is modern cricket, I guess. Even Australia and South Africa play modern cricket, but I don't think they approach the strategy that India adopted with regards to Gambhir," he rued.
Speaking about Dhoni's decision to bat first, Kapil said: "I am not blaming Dhoni for opting to bat first. You must know how to bat in these conditions. The English bowlers did well to bowl in the right areas."