- Mad cricket enthusiasts in the country are not only thorough about the game in every aspect but also no less than an expert themselves while deliberating on the nuances. Each one of the passionate individuals would be hands-on in explaining in vivid details concerning every department of the game putting to shame a real expert whom we all listen to with rapt attention. A shocking loss in the just concluded Chennai Test by a whopping margin of 227 runs has ensured animated discussions amongst the cricket aficionados as to what went wrong resulting in an unexpected whipping in a familiar home condition. And the jury is inconclusive figuring the same.
PC: Devadyuti Das
- As a keen follower of the game for decades, it is not beyond one’s comprehension to figure out why Team India was made to surrender meekly without putting up a strong fight as it did in the recently concluded Test series victory in Australia. Make no mistake, conditions prevailing overseas and at home are entirely different, and hence, choosing the right combination keeping in mind this vital aspect assumes utmost importance. Unlike the shorter version of the game, Test cricket also demands progressively refined skillsets honed by the specialists while fielding well rounded eleven. Reading the conditions and assessing the track is also equally vital.
- In Indian conditions, it is extremely important to bat well in the first innings whether batting first or second to score substantially. Thus, winning the toss also assumes significance as usually, the first two days will be conducive for batting here. As can be noticed, England put up a huge score in the first innings largely owing to the supreme batting skills of Captain Joe Root but also lack of penetration from the relatively inexperienced bowling of Shabaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar failing to complement the experienced trio of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravichandra Ashwin. Also, the Indian first innings batting too did not score on expected lines.
PC: MARTY MELVILLE
- Needless to mention, a good opening partnership while batting always sets-up the batsmen following later to build and score noticeably to stay in the match. This is where the Indian Team is found wanting as the opening enterprise of Rohit Sharma and Shubhman Gill have not delivered consistently in the last three Tests, including the recent one. Ideally, one of the openers scoring big eases the nerves of other middle-order batsmen allowing them to score more freely and at a brisk pace. This is not happening as Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane could not score big. Young guns Rishabh Pant and Sundar did notch up half-centuries, impacting not much though.
- The Indian bowling department will see one or two changes by bringing in Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav in place of the two inexperienced and below par bowlers mentioned above. The rest of the team selects itself with expectations of a big score from any of the two top-order batsmen setting the stage for the bowlers. Playing to potential will enable Team India to square the series in Chennai before moving onto Ahmedabad for the remaining two Tests. An interesting battle awaits us. Of course, ICC Test Championship Final places reckons as well!