London: Virat Kohli on Sunday suffered his heaviest defeat as Test captain after England thrashed India by an innings and 159 runs in the second match at Lord’s to take a 2-0 series lead. Many raised question over the visitors’ team selection policy after the embarrassing defeat and joining the line was Aakash Chopra.
“As much as Virat Kohli is revered and will be remembered as one of the finest batsmen to grace this game, he’ll also be remembered as a captain who didn’t play an identical XI in two consecutive games for 37 games and counting, and also as someone who made some interesting choices. Kohli dropped the team’s vice-captain for the first two Tests in South Africa, dropped Cheteshwar Pujara for the first Test in England and has used Shikhar Dhawan only for the opening Test in two consecutive overseas tours,” the former India Test batsman wrote in a column for Hindustan Times.
Chopra also questioned the decision to play two spinners when the conditions seemed favourable for fast bowlers.
“Interestingly, India fielded two spinners for the second Test when their opponents went with four quicks. The pitch was green and under covers for over 24 hours, and while that ensured that India also wanted to field first (had India won the toss), it didn’t force them to play an extra seamer. India aren’t known to travel well and that makes team-selection a critical piece in the jigsaw puzzle. Team management will have to take a harder look at its decisions,” he added.
Chopra, who works as a Hindi cricket commentator further pointed out at India’s batting woes and abysmal overseas record.
It felt that even the usually unpredictable English weather was hand in glove with the hosts. But good teams and champion players don’t look for excuses; they find answers instead. From the beginning of 2018, India have played five overseas Tests and there are only two 50-plus scores from Indian batsmen besides Kohli. That’s five batsmen (minus Kohli) over 10 innings, which translates into two fifties in 50 innings,” he mentioned.
Kohli and co. now face a difficult task to turn the series around as they switch focus to the third Test in Nottingham starting on Saturday.