Updated December 29th, 2023 at 12:32 IST

‘Intra-squad is a joke’: Furious Sunil Gavaskar pinpoints main reason behind India's disastrous loss

The Indian squad would have been far better if they had concentrated on one area against South Africa, according to legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar.

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
Sunil Gavaskar on Team India
Sunil Gavaskar on Team India | Image:PTI,AP

In the first Test match between South Africa and India, which took place between December 26–28, South Africa emerged victorious by an innings and thirty-two runs. India started the batting and amassed 245 runs in their first innings, led by an outstanding 101 from KL Rahul. In retaliation, South Africa scored a massive 408 in their opening half, driven by a remarkable 185 from Dean Elgar. South Africa's Nandre Burger and Marco Jansen bowled brilliantly, as India faltered at 131 in their second innings. Dean Elgar won Player of the Match due to his outstanding batting. The match was played at Cricket Stadium SuperSport Park.

3 things you need to know 

  • India lost to South Africa by an innings and 32 runs 
  • Dean Elgar was named Player of the Match in the first Test
  • The Indian Cricket Team didn't perform at its best level

Also Read: Temba Bavuma ruled out, Dean Elgar to take over


Sunil Gavaskar was critical of the Indian cricket team after their loss to South Africa 

Famous Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar voiced his disappointment with the Indian team's lack of preparation following their crushing loss to South Africa in the Boxing Day Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion.


The hosts, who were more prepared for the two-match Test series, beat the Indian squad, demonstrating their continued inability to conquer the elusive final frontier. In just three days, the much-awaited Boxing Day Test came to an end, dropping the visitors to a 0-1 series deficit. Against a strong South African pace attack, KL Rahul seized command in India's opening innings, scoring a respectable 101 runs to add to the team's total of 245 runs.

But South Africa rallied mightily, scoring a massive 408 runs, headed by a standout 185-run effort from Denn Elgar and an important 84 runs from Marco Jansen. After scoring just 131 runs in their second innings, India looked weak, and Virat Kohli was the only player to score 76 runs. Speaking on Star Sports, Gavaskar expressed his dissatisfaction with the Indian team's readiness for the Test series and emphasized the need to play practice matches before international contests. Sunil Gavaskar said: 


"The reasons are straightforward, you didn't play any matches here. If you straightaway play Test matches, it doesn't work out. Yes, you sent the India A team. The India A team should actually come before the tour," 

“You need to play practice matches after coming here. Intra-squad is a joke because would your fast bowlers bowl extremely fast to your batters, would they bowl bouncers, as they would be scared about injuring their batters,” Gavaskar said. 

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Even though India played intra-squad matches before the Test series, Gavaskar wasn't sure if those matches prepared the team for the demands of Test cricket. Such games, in his opinion, don't have the intensity needed to prepare players for Test series. Gavaskar proposed that if the squad had played practice matches against the South Africa A team, they would have been more acclimated to the circumstances.


Published December 29th, 2023 at 12:09 IST

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