Gavaskar blames IPL focus for India's debacle

Cricket legends Sunil Gavaskar and Imran Khan blamed IPL (Indian Premier League) for the decline of Indian cricket after the humiliating ODI series defeat suffered at the hands of Pakistan.

"I have been watching Indian cricket till the World Cup last year (2011). I have got to say this - unless Indian cricket deals with this IPL, unless you work out a balance between Test cricket and this 20-20 cricket and the commercial aspect of it, Indian cricket could go down very rapidly because cricketers are made in Test cricket. A great Test cricketer will perform anywhere," said Imran Khan during a panel discussion on NDTV.

Gavaskar said that players had got their priorities mixed up.

"In the events after the World Cup, you will know the guys who actually took their places for granted, those who didn't make themselves available preferred to play the IPL and then go for surgeries. I think those are the guys who instead of looking at India were looking at contributing for their IPL franchises. If at all you need to take a rest, you need to take a rest from club cricket," he said without naming anyone.

Gavaskar was of the opinion that the batsmen should take responsibility for losses.

"In India, who are the most famous? It's the batsmen. They are the ones who are known much more than the bowlers because of the performances they've had over the years. I think they are the one's you've got to hold responsible," he said.

Pakistan sealed a rare series triumph by defeating India by 85 runs in the second ODI at Eden Gardens after winning the first match by six wickets in Chennai.

Imran said India took a big gamble by opting to bat second in Kolkata. 

"When you choose to bat second in an ODI, you have two pressures. One is that of a quality bowling attack and the second is the pressure of the scoreboard. Each time a batsman is trying to get himself in, he has the run-rate going up," said Pakistan's World Cup winning captain.
 

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