Bhuvneshwar has leaked quite a few runs on death in recent matches. His 16-run 19th over enabled Australia to put on a record 209 chase in the first T20I in Mohali on Tuesday-evening.
“I don’t think there was too much dew. We didn’t see the fielders or bowlers try to use the towel to try and dry their fingers. That’s no excuse. We didn’t bowl well. For example, the 19th over. .. that’s a real concern,” Gavaskar told Sports Today.
“Someone like Bhuvneshwar Kumar goes for runs every time he is expected. In 18 deliveries he has bowled in three matches against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and now Australia, he has given away 49 runs.
“It’s almost three runs per ball. Someone of his experience and caliber, you expect him to give 35-36 runs in those 18 deliveries. That’s a real concern.”
The former skipper said India has not been able to defend good totals but hoped for a fit weather Jasper Bumrah‘s return will strengthen the bowling department.
Bumrah has been out since the limited-overs series against England in July earlier this year as he was recovering from an old back injury.
“What we have seen in recent years is that it has been one of the areas where India has suffered. They have failed to defend good scores,” said Gavaskar.
“Maybe when Bumrah comes in it might be a very different situation as he gets wickets at the top. India didn’t get those today (Tuesday) when Australia got off to a flying start.
“That said, it’s only the first game. Remember, Australia is world champions. They are expected to do extraordinary things.”
Former head coach Ravi Shastri also fell hard on India for their “sloppy handling” in the first T20I.
The Indian fielders defended 208 and dropped a whopping three catches, including those of Cameron Green (61 from 30 balls) and Matthew Wade (45 not from 21 balls).
“If you look at all the top Indian teams over the years, there is youth and experience. I think the youth is missing here and hence the field work,” said Shastri, who sat in the comment box.
“If you look at the last five to six years, I think this side is not a match for any of the top teams when it comes to fielding. And that can turn out badly in big tournaments.
“It means as a batting team you have to get those 15-20 runs game after game because when you look around the field, where’s the genius? There’s no Jadeja. Where’s that X factor?”
Axar Patel was the first offender when he dropped a regulation catch at deep mid-wicket to give a life to Green when he stood at 42. KL Rahul then failed to seize a chance in the long-off in the next over.
However, the catch that proved precious was Matthew Wade, who was dropped by Harshal Patel during his own bowling in the 18th over when the batter was on 1.
Wade scored an unbeaten 45 from 21 balls to take Australia home with four balls left.
“What I was disappointed with today was the standard of the fieldwork. I mean it looks sloppy and I think you need a big up-ante when it comes to the fieldwork if you have to beat big sides in big games.” competitions,” Shastri said.
India then takes on Australia in the second T20I at Nagpur on Friday.