After India lost the T20I series against the West Indies, they faced a lot of criticism for their approach, as the Hardik Pandya-led youngsters weren’t able to win the series against the Caribbeans. Indian team management looked perplexed when it came to deciding who was going to start the innings. Shubman Gill is a regular opener for the team, but his comrade kept changing in the series. First, it was India’s captain Rohit Sharma in the Test series, then in the ODI and two T20I matches. Ishan Kishan opened the innings with him, but in the last three T20I matches, Yashasvi Jaiswal opened the innings besides Gill, apart from the fourth T20I match.
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar expected these results as he knows the difference between playing in franchise cricket and at international level. Despite some good performances by the youngsters like Tilak Varma and Yashasvi Jaiswal, India couldn’t win the T20I series, and Sunil Gavaskar didn’t mince his words to compare the two teams with his Kids vs. Men remarks.
A player could do well at the franchise level, but when it comes to playing for the country, it’s a different ball game of pressures and expectations. It is one step up, which can be too steep for even some of the best performers at the franchise level. How often have we seen this when the Under-19 performers just aren’t able to take that one step up from a boys’ tournament to a men’s competition?Sunil Gavaskar wrote on Sportstar
Yes, the kids look great playing against kids, but when they come up against the men, they suddenly find that what looks like a piece of cake at the under-19 level is more like mud at the senior level. That’s why so many who looked good at the boys’ level have been found wanting at the senior level. It’s not just the temperament; even the skill set is way below the standard required at the franchise level. Then, having been bought for crores, some of these youngsters lose the fire in the belly and are happy to cruise along in later years and get their contracts extended, even if it is for a lesser amount.He added
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