While Virat Kohli has changed his Test line-up every single match since he took over the India captaincy, former skipper Sourav Ganguly has urged the current captain to resist that temptation in the second Test against England at Lord’s.
India fell to a 31-run defeat in the first Test of the five-match series at Edgbaston with the visitors’ batting – apart from that of the skipper himself – failing to perform.
“If you’ve to win a Test then everyone has to score runs. This was the first Test in a five-match series and I think this team has the capability to come back & play well. Ajinkya Rahane & Murali Vijay will have to show some determination since they have scored runs in these conditions before,” Ganguly wrote on his Instagram.
If you've to win a Test then everyone has to score runs. The other batsmen have to score 100's as well. #ViratKohli played very well otherwise India would have been out of the match on the 2nd day itself. This was the first Test in a 5 match series & I think this team has the capability to come back & play well. #AjinkyaRahane & #MuraliVijay will have to show some determination since they have scored runs in these conditions before. I don't think the captain is responsible for the loss. If you're the captain then you'll be criticised for a loss the same way as you're congratulated for a win. One criticism for @Virat.Kohli is that he should give a consistent run to his batters & more time before dropping them. The failure against swing in English conditions can't be used as an excuse any more as everyone knows that its what you get when you come to England. You can't be excused all the time & we have lost before in 2011 & 2014. You've to bat well. It's a very well known fact that the ball will swing in England the same way as Australia is known for its pacy wickets. So if previously you've scored runs there is no reason you can't now. The captain should give confidence to his players. It's his team & only he can change their mindset. He will have to sit with them & tell them that if he can do it so can they. He should give them time & tell them to go out & play without any fear. It is true that after continuous chopping & changing of the playing XI, players can get afraid that after all these years they've failed to garner the faith of the team management." The good thing about the great teams of the past - whether it be #Australia, #SouthAfrica or our very own team which won the Test series here in 2007 - was that the boys used to play both formats of the game - #SachinTendulkar, #RahulDravid, #VirenderSehwag, including myself. So even if you played badly in 1 or 2 matches you got a lot of time to get back into form at the international level. Playing & scoring 150 in first-class cricket can't compensate for international cricket. In this team no batsman except Virat plays all the formats. - SG
“One criticism for Virat Kohli is that he should give a consistent run to his batters & more time before dropping them. The failure against swing in English conditions can’t be used as an excuse any more as everyone knows that it’s what you get when you come to England,” he continued.
“You can’t be excused all the time & we have lost before in 2011 & 2014. You’ve to bat well. It’s a very well known fact that the ball will swing in England the same way as Australia is known for its pacy wickets. So if previously you’ve scored runs, there is no reason you can’t now.”
It remains to be seen if Kohli takes up the former India skipper’s advise in the Lord’s Test which gets underway on August 9.
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Fast bowler Mohammad Siraj has been on fire in first-class cricket, picking up 24 wickets across three matches to stake his claim for a spot in the Test match set-up.
In the ongoing unofficial Test in Bengaluru against South Africa ‘A’ , Hyderabad quick Siraj – playing for India ‘A’ – picked up five wickets in the first innings and 4-18 in 10 overs in the second to take his match tally to nine. The Proteas are only four wickets down with one more day’s play left, which means Siraj can do more damage.
Before this match, Siraj was in top form in England for India ‘A’, picking up eight wickets across two innings against West Indies ‘A’ and seven wickets against the England Lions. That means he has already snared 24 wickets from three first-class matches with the possibility of more.
India are missing the services of key Test fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and their absence was felt in the first test against England in Birmingham which the visitors lost by 31 runs.
Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav did not make much an impact on an extremely helpful pitch and in a game of such small margins, a better effort from either of the two could have done the job for India.
With Ishant Sharma the only Indian fast bowler to bowl consistently in the opening Test, the management will be looking elsewhere to bolster the pace attack for the remaining four matches. There is Shardul Thakur in the squad but the management could look at someone like Siraj as he has bowled well in England, is a proper red-ball bowler and is among the wickets.
Virat Kohli was batting on 43 when stumps were called, with England pacer Stuart Broad taking two top-order wickets.
Earlier, Ishant Sharma picked up five wickets for India but England’s Sam Curran defied the visitors with the bat as he hit a fine 63 from 65 balls and took the team to 180.
We take a look at the talking points from another brilliant day’s cricket at Edgbaston.
ASHWIN DECIMATES THE TOP ORDER
Off-spinner Ravi Ashwin has been a revelation this Test. He has generally struggled to make an impact on a consistent basis outside Asia. But in the first Test in Birmingham, the off-spinner has been in the thick of things from the very first session. Getting the ball to turn and dip, Ashwin caused serious problems to both left and right-handed batsmen.
In the first innings, he rattled the stumps of Alastair Cook off a front foot defence. He finished with four in the first innings. And just to show his first innings dismissal of Cook wasn’t a fluke, Ashwin got the England opener out in exactly the same fashion in the second. He then rattled the English top order by getting Keaton Jennings to edge one to second slip and had Joe Root tucking a ball which turned and bounced to leg slip. He finished with seven wickets in the Test.
ISHANT’S FIERY SPELL
The leader of India’s pace attack Ishant has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah injured, he not only has to hold one end up but also pick wickets. And either side of lunch, Ishant came up with one the most hostile spells of his career.
Getting the ball to zip across from round the wicket, he had Dawid Malan and Ben Stokes nicking near unplayable late away swingers to the slip region. Jonny Bairstow didn’t have much of a clue when he brushed a late away swinger from wide of the crease to slip. And in the first over after lunch, Ishant got one to climb on Jos Buttler who could only get a faint edge behind.
For the sheer artistry on display, it was one of the best spells of Ishant’s career, right up there with his seven-wicket haul in the 2014 Lord’s Test and the spell to Ricky Ponting in the 2008 Perth Test.
🏏 50 FOR CURRAN 🏏— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) August 3, 2018
What a knock from the Surrey man who follows up his four wickets yesterday with a half century in tough conditions.
Watch now on Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event or follow here: https://t.co/3YGKcX0z3r pic.twitter.com/n4OvrvTYvS
Left-arm seamer Sam Curran has enjoyed a sensational Test. The most under-rated bowler of the England line-up, hardly any one – including this humbled author – expected Curran to be the gamechanger against the top-ranked Indians.
In the first innings with the bat, Curran looked in control as he made a 71-ball 24 which helped the hosts to 287. With the ball, he got the cream of the Indian top-order after the visitors added fifty for the first wicket. His four wickets were thoroughly deserved but it was his batting in the second innings which was the most impressive.
With England staring down the barrel at 87-7 and all recognised batsmen gone, the 20-year-old Curran showed composure beyond his years as he cracked a 65-ball 63 by playing authentic cricket strokes. Then on Friday, he got Ajinkya Rahane out with a fine in-dipper.
If England do win the first Test, it will be largely down to Curran’s remarkable all-round display.
BROAD GETS THE BALL TO TALK
Only once in the last 12 months has Stuart Broad found more new ball swing than the 1.428° he's found today. #ENGvIND— The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) August 3, 2018
Stuart Broad went wicketless in the first innings, which was odd given the amount of help for quick bowlers. But he wasn’t going to miss out a second time. Getting the ball to curve both sides late, Broad got Murali Vijay lbw with the batsman offering no shot and got fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan to nick behind.
Earlier with the bat, Broad looked like he was on top of his game. His 11 off 28 balls in the company of Curran got him in the right frame of mind to bend his back with the new ball and it paid off handsomely.