“Only the coach and captain may accept calls.” Gavaskar criticizes India for optional practice, saying it harms the team.

Sunil Gavaskar, a renowned Indian cricketer, was not pleased with the bulk of India’s likely first-XI players skipping the “optional practice” session on Friday before their T20 World Cup Super 12 stage match in Melbourne. The absence of players like Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Yuzvendra Chahal, KL Rahul, and a few others from the net session was addressed forcefully by the former India captain. Under the cautious eye of head coach Rahul Dravid, the players sweating it out were captain Rohit Sharma, wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, pacers Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Shami, all-rounders Axar Patel and Deepak Hooda, plus traveling reserves Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj.

I’m not sure what it tells you, but I disagree with what it says. I disagree with it for the obvious reason that you chose not to practice the following day after your first match (warm-up match) was rained out, after arriving in Melbourne and having a day free. India Today quoted Gavaskar.

Giving an option, according to the renowned starting batter, should be left up to the captain and coach. Giving players the choice to skip practice at the outset of a major competition like the World Cup should be strictly forbidden.

“At the end of the day, players who skipped practice can wind up being match-winners. But you want to have a team rhythm. Look for a feeling of direction. I think only the coach and the captain should be able to provide an option. For example, if you had a little ache but scored 100 points in the last game, the captain and coach may let you skip practice and say it was okay if you didn’t want to. The captain and coach may also offer a bowler the opportunity to skip training if he or she has bowled 20 to 30 overs and is experiencing shoulder pain, for example.

Giving the players the choice is improper. Never should it be a choice. That decision should only be made by the captain and the coach. It’s incredible how often it has impacted Indian cricket, said Gavaskar.