Look beyond 100s to get in Team India: Sunil Gavaskar to young batsmen

Former captain Sunil Gavaskar has advised young batsmen knocking on the doors of international cricket not to be satisfied with mere 100s and to make it 200 or 250 to force national selectors to take notice.

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar

"Whenever I used to bump into Chandu (Mumbai Ranji coach Chandrakant Pandit) like this at some function (Cricket Club of India felicitating the newly crowned national champions), I like telling him, may be you should tell batsmen that you shouldn't be happy with a hundred or 120 or 130, you need to convert them into 200s and 250s," he told reporters here last evening.

"Not only will it be good for the team but it will also do a lot of good for their prospects of playing for the country. Lots of batsmen score hundreds but if you want selectors to notice, it's got to be double hundreds, 250s so that the selectors sit up and take notice," said the 66-year-old cricket legend.

"In a four-day format, the only way to state a case for selection for the India team is to show that you are different from others. There are lots of people who get a hundred. When you get 250, you are different. Not everybody gets 250. So the selectors feel this guy is different.

"When you get 250, follow it up with a 200 then again a 150 maybe. Once you have got that 250, you guys are going to write big, so the headlines are there. Since there are six-seven league games happening at the same time, lots of hundreds happen, but this stands out.

"Otherwise, a hundred or a five-wicket performance will only feature in regional papers. But for selectors to notice, you need a big double hundred. Doesn't matter which region you are from, 250 will always be a headline," he said.

"It's a simple thing. A hundred is a knock on the door. And the selectors are not 20 or 30 years old, they are getting into their 40s and 50s and, like me, might be are hard on hearing. "A little bit of knock might not be heard by them, so you have got to knock a little harder with a 150, 200 you break the door down so that they no longer have to hear you, they are actually seeing you. That's what I meant by telling him that 'dhaaiso banao' (Make it two hundred and fifty)," said Gavaskar.

Gavaskar said the selectors would have had their own reasons for not including the likes of Test regulars -- Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara -- in the Rest of India team that won the Irani Cup by defeating Mumbai yesterday.

"Ideally yes. But I think the selection committee had their own reasons for looking at other players. I think the thinking is that we have had a look at Pujara and Vijay and Rahul, we want to see somebody else. "When they see those players against the champion team, they also get a little bit of an idea about how he can bowl,
how he can bat. But ideally for it to competitive, I think it should be best of the rest."

A Mumbaikar to the core, Gavaskar welcomed the rise of other outfits in the national championship, adding it would be wonderful if all the top players are available to play in Ranji Trophy, at least in the initial stages of the league.

"Last couple of years, Karnataka has dominated. They won all the tournaments, just one of those things that they didn't gel this time around. "Actually, it's good news for Indian cricket because if you have strength all-round, not one team is dominating, that actually is good news. It means that other team's standard is getting up and you¿re getting good cricketers," said the one-time prolific run accumulator.

"I somehow wish that the schedule was tweaked in such a way that our international cricketers are able to play at least some matches, not all the matches clearly, but even if some matches at the start or end of the season, that would lift the first-class circuit. It's difficult with the international calendar," Gavaskar added.

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