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India v Australia 2023

‘You’re playing for your country’ – Sunil Gavaskar rebukes bruised Shubman Gill on air for mid-over physio break

Gavaskar criticised Gill for a mid-over physio break
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

An unhappy Sunil Gavaskar was severe in his criticism of Shubman Gill, questioning the India batter for seeking medical help midway through an over during the opening day of the third Border-Gavaskar Test.

After being overlooked for the first two Test matches, Gill returned to the XI as replacement for KL Rahul, and opened the innings with Rohit Sharma. Their partnership did not last long though, with Rohit departing in the sixth over, after two lucky escapes inside the first four balls of the Test.

Off the second ball of the sixth over, Gill appeared to have injured himself while putting in a dive following a quick single. Two balls later, the India physio was on the pitch, tending to non-striker Gill’s injury. While television footage revealed that Gill had bruised his left side with two very visible gashes. Gavaskar, though, wasn’t too impressed.


“I tell you what, this could have waited,” Gavaskar said on air. “This could have waited till the end of the over. It’s a fast bowler who’s bowling, he’s bowled four deliveries and it’s hot, and you have given him a breather. You have given the fast bowler a breather. Yes, you are hurt. Wait for two more deliveries, wait for the over to finish and get treated, because you are at the non-striker’s end. You are not at the striker’s end. Simple things can make a difference.”

“You’re a harsh man, Sunny. That’s a real stinger,” his co-commentator Matthew Hayden said as the television cameras zoomed in on Gill’s bruise.

“It is – but listen, you are playing for your country,” continued Gavaskar. “Two more deliveries [and] you are at the non-striker’s end. I can understand if you are at the striker’s end and you’ve got the discomfort. And he’s done that after two deliveries.”

Matt Kuhnemann claimed Gill in his next over as India suffered a top-order collapse. At the time of writing, they were 82-7 after 25 overs.

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