After a string of poor performances, the under-fire duo of Pujara and Rahane came good with the bat, scoring half-centuries in India’s second innings of the second Test.
“The team has backed them because of the experience and what they have done in the past. They had the belief that they will come good and they did,” Gavaskar said on ‘Star Sports.’
“Sometimes we can be a little bit hard on some of our senior players because you have these exciting young players waiting in the wings and we all want to see them get a bit of exposure.
“But as long as these senior players are playing well and not getting out badly, then I think we should show faith in them,” he added.
India was without the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli who was ruled out of the Test minutes before the toss due to a lower back spasm.
“It is amazing, this is the first time that India have lost a Test match in which Virat Kohli has not played. They drew once in Sydney but otherwise they have always won.
Despite Rahane and Pujara’s knocks India was not able to contain the South African batters, specially skipper Dean Elgar, who stitched crucial partnerships to lead the hosts to series-levelling 1-1 win here on Thursday.
Gavaskar was not impressed by stand-in skipper KL Rahul‘s field placements. He was also critical of the Indian fielding.
“I thought giving Dean Elgar those singles at the start of the innings was making life a little bit easier for him.
“Elgar is not a hooker of the ball so to have two men in the deep did not make any sense. He was taking the singles quite comfortably.
“The Indian fielding could have been just that little bit sharper. But otherwise, it was the South Africans who won the game. I don’t think the Indians lost it, the South Africans who won this game,” said Gavaskar.