Batting great Sunil Gavaskar believes switching from the T20 mode in the IPL to Test cricket will be the biggest challenge for the Indian players when they take on Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia next week.
Rohit Sharma’s India will play the WTC final at The Oval in London from June 7-11 with a majority of the players having come through the rigours of IPL 2023, which concluded on Monday with Chennai Super Kings lifting the trophy for a record-equalling fifth time.
“The biggest test will be the fact that just about everybody will be coming out of a T20 format, and Test cricket is a longer format. So, I think that’s going to be the big challenge,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.
He added that among all the India players only veteran batter Cheteshwar Pujara was well acclimatised to the longer format as he has been playing county cricket.
“They (India) have only Cheteshwar Pujara who has been playing in the English County Championship, so he will be the only guy who has played the longer format in these conditions, so that’s going to be the big challenge for them.”
On Ajinkya Rahane, who after a long form slump has come back strongly in the IPL and helped CSK win the title this season, Gavaskar said the the 34-year-old’s experience of English conditions will be beneficial to the side.
“He’s got a lot of experience having played in England, having scored runs in England. So, yes, I think he is going to be crucial down at number 5. And yes, I do believe he has a point to prove, I still feel he has got plenty of cricket left in him, and this is a wonderful opportunity for him.”
He hopes Rahane makes full use of the opportunity that has come his way to extend his professional career.
“I’m hoping he will be able to grab this opportunity with all the experience that he has and make a place for him back in the Indian team.”