India are currently engaged in a five-Test series in England which ends on September 11, leaving hardly any time for some of Test players to get ready for the ODIs. Moreover, just a week after the Asia Cup final, India play the West Indies in a Test series which will be closely followed by the tour to Australia.
Given the heavy workload, the Indian selectors decided to rest Kohli. However, it’s a full-strength squad otherwise.
Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah – playing in the England Tests – are in the team, as is Bhuvneshwar Kumar who is deemed to be fit.
Middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu returns to the team after missing out on selection for the England series after failing the fitness test.
Also back in the mix is batsman Kedar Jadhav who returns after a length injury lay-off following a hamstring injury. He did not score many runs in the recent ‘A’ teams quadrangular series but has still found a place in the team.
India squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthk, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Khaleel Ahmed, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel.
The Indian skipper has been having an excellent time in England in India’s ongoing tour as he continues to make amends for his poor time in 2014. Kohli is currently the leading run-scorer in the five-match series by some distance with 440 runs in six innings at an average greater than 73.
“Sachin Tendulkar was aesthetically very pleasing, easy on the eye. But if I had to win a game I would have banked on Brian Lara and I see that trait in Kohli,” Lloyd was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
“He is a bit like Viv Richards too – he can absolutely dominate an era. Sachin was a great player but Kohli can inflict more damage.
“The way he (Kohli) constantly talks and inspires the bowlers is quite a treat.”
Popularly known as ‘Bumble’, Lloyd believes Kohli is a natural leader for the Indian team.
“He obviously gets the respect because he is a fabulous player, but you can see that the emotion apart, he is very honest with his players as well,” added Lloyd.
“There’s been a massive turnaround in this Indian team in the way quick bowlers have taken over completely and I feel Kohli is the perfect man to develop them. He looks a natural leader.”
Kohli and his men currently trail the five-match series 2-1 heading into the fourth Test at Southampton which gets underway on Thursday. The former England batsman feels India have the ability to pull off the impossible given England’s current batting woes.
“Well, no other team but for Don Bradman’s 1936 side has done it. So it will be difficult. But in England this season, teams getting 300 should be in a position to win and I believe India would be in the game,” Lloyd concluded.
For the second time in the series, captain Virat Kohli scored 200 runs in a Test. There were five wicket hauls for all-rounder Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah, plus fifties for Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Pandya.
India’s fast bowlers accounted for 19 out of the 20 wickets to fall, coming close to the feat they achieved in at the Wanderers Test earlier in the year when all their scalps were picked up by quicks.
The result not only brought India back into the series, making the scoreline 2-1, it also took captain Kohli past Sourav Ganguly on the all-time most successful Indian captains’ list.
Most scores of Fifty or more by Indian captain in Test wins:— BrokenStats (@Broken_Statz) August 22, 2018
14 Virat Kohli
13 MS Dhoni
10 Saurav Ganguly#INDvENG
Kohli now has 22 Test wins from 38 matches as captain. He has now gone past Ganguly, who had 21 wins from 49 matches, and is now only behind MS Dhoni (27 wins from 60 matches) when it comes to Indian skippers.
However, Kohli’s winning percentage has already catapulted him into the all-time successful captains’ list. Kohli’s winning percentage of 57.8 per cent puts him fourth on the all-time list among captains who have led in at least 30 Tests.
Australian great Steve Waugh leads the way with a win percentage of 71.9 (41 wins from 57 Tests), followed by fellow Aussie Ricky Ponting on 62.3 (48 wins from 77 matches) and English tactician Mike Brearley on 58.06 (18 wins from 31 games).
West Indies great Viv Richards had a win percentage of 54, with 27 victories in 50 Tests.