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Sunil Gavaskar’s verdict on Sai Sudharsan before IND vs SA 3rd ODI: ‘You don’t want to be getting out in the 50s, 60s’

Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar revealed his early impressions of India’s rising star ahead of the 3rd ODI against South Africa.

India were blown away by the Tony de Zorzi storm as South Africa restored parity in the series with an impressive win over KL Rahul and Co. in the 2nd One Day International (ODI) on Tuesday. Sai Sudharsan‘s brilliant half-century followed by a captain’s knock from Rahul failed to inspire Team India to a series-sealing win at St George’s Park in Gqeberha. The three-match series will be at stake when Rahul marshalls his troops for the 3rd ODI on Thursday.

A ton-up De Zorzi thwarted India’s bid to take an unassailable lead in the previous encounter. On a day when 332 players went under the hammer at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 auction, the Proteas opener smashed his maiden ODI century. The left-hander dethroned Sudharsan from the top-scorers list of the ODI series. Sudharsan, however, played a brilliant knock of 62 off 83 balls to cement his place for the series decider.

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Sudarshan, who is set to be a key member of the Gujarat Titans’ (GT) batting order along with franchise captain Shubman Gill at IPL 2024, has also attracted Sunil Gavaskar’s attention amid his debut ODI series against the Proteas. Reflecting on his crucial knock for Team India in the 2nd ODI, the batting legend admitted that he was mighty impressed with the temperament and talent of the GT batter.

What Gavaskar said about elegant Sudarshan

“Yes, he looks very, very good. A very compact player plays close to his body, and has got a good very still head. So balance is very good when he’s playing. And, of course, when he plays drives like that. Left-handers can be so elegant when they play, they can play the pull shot as well. But basically, his temperament and talent are very, very nice,” Gavaskar said.

Did you know? Sudharsan in elite company with Navjot Sidhu

Interestingly, Sudharsan became the only second Indian batter to achieve a special feat in ODI cricket at St George’s Park. The southpaw is the second Indian to hit consecutive half-centuries in the first two ODIs. The 22-year-old has emulated former India opener Navjot Singh Sidhu, who struck four half-centuries on the trot in his first four ODI appearances. Sudharsan has accumulated 117 runs in 2 innings for Team India.

‘I’m sure he’s not being satisfied’

Gavaskar the young left-hander not to be satisfied with 50s and 60s and get a big one in the decider.

“Now it’s a matter of them sort of carrying on from here and not being satisfied and I’m sure he’s not being satisfied. You don’t want to be getting out in the 50s and 60s. When you bat up the order, you have the opportunity to score a 100 every time. So I think that is what he’s got to grab so that somebody will be talking only about who will partner Sai Sudharsan at the top,” Gavaskar added.

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