After losing the first Test at Edgbaston by 31 runs, Kohli’s men were blown away by more than an innings in the second match at Lord’s. The third Test in the five-match series gets underway at Trent Bridge on August 18 and another defeat there could see the coach and skipper come under the BCCI’s crosshairs.
“The Indian team can’t complain that they were not given enough time to prepare. When we lost the South Africa series, the players spoke about tight scheduling and lack of practice games. It was after speaking to them that we decided that white-ball matches will be held before the Tests,” a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by the PTI (Press Trust of India) on condition of anonymity.
“We arranged white-ball matches first. It was on the senior team’s insistence that we send the India ‘A’ team during the same time starting the concept of ‘Shadow Tour’. Two senior India players (Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane) were accommodated for ‘A’ team games. Whatever they wanted, they were provided. Now if results don’t come, the board is well within its rights to ask questions.
“Don’t forget under Shastri and current support staff, we have lost major Test series in Australia (in 2014-15), South Africa (in 2017-18). Now we are in dire straits in England.”
The Kohli and Shastri combo has been given a free hand when it comes to team selections but their power has been questioned by various quarters following India’s meek surrender in the two Tests so far.
The Pakistan cricket team’s search for a new fielding coach is set to continue even further after Australia’s Darren Berry withdrew his interest from the role due to personal and professional reasons.
The men in green have been without a fielding coach ever since Steve Rixon chose not to renew his contract which ran out in June this year. Following Rixon’s decision, the PCB had zeroed in on Berry as his replacement with the Australian’s nomination being endorsed by head coach Mickey Arthur.
Talks between Berry and the PCB were at an advanced stage with the fielding coach initially earmarked to start his tenure during Pakistan’s recent tour of Zimbabwe. However, that appointment was then postponed until the upcoming Asia Cup which will be held in the UAE.
Now, according to report by ESPNCricinfo, Berry has decided to opt out of the running although he will continue to serve as the fielding coach of Pakistan Super League defending champions Islamabad United.
“I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity presented by Micky Arthur and PCB,” Berry told ESPNCricinfo.
“After healthy discussions between the PCB and myself, I have decided that at this point in time with a young family that full-time international travel was a bridge too far right now. I will continue to work with Islamabad United in the PSL and will keep an open mind in relation to international coaching opportunities in the future,” he added.
A former Australia international, 48-year-old Berry currently serves as the head coach of the Southern Redbacks along with Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Adelaide Strikers.
The young pacer clinched the award after a stellar year in which he climbed to the top of the ICC Test rankings for bowlers.
Currently lying in second spot behind England’s James Anderson, Rabada made history earlier this year when he became the youngest bowler to top the ICC rankings since the 19th century.
During South Africa’s recent Test series defeat to Sri Lanka, the 23-year-old broke Harbhajan Singh’s record in becoming the youngest bowler to claim 150 wickets.
Former South Africa pacer Alan Donald heaped praise on the youngster after he was awarded with Wisden’s Golden Boy title.
“We all knew in South Africa that Kagiso Rabada was destined for big things. I knew it was going to come, but I didn’t know it was going to come this quickly,” Donald told Wisden Cricket Monthly.
“When Dale Steyn first broke through his consistency and the rate he was taking wickets at was quite frightening and the same is now happening with Kagiso. He’s just incredible, a machine really, and fantastic to watch.
“Kagiso is well on his way to becoming South Africa’s all-time greatest fast bowler. Going at the rate he is it’s a case of when rather than if he becomes our country’s leading Test wicket-taker and it will be a proud moment for me seeing this young man do that, a magnificent achievement for him and an inspiration for all young black cricketers in South Africa.”