Essex vs India, 3-Day Practice Match: All eyes were on visiting captain Virat Kohli when he came to bat after India’s disastrous start against Essex in the lone three-day practice game at Chelmsford on Wednesday afternoon. However, Kohli showed he is over the woeful 2014 Test series in England and played, if not magnificent but a 68-run knock to announce it Joe Root and Co. that he was eager to score and lead his side to victory in the upcoming five-Test series starting August 1 in Birmingham. However, what must be concerning the Indian skipper as well as the team management would be the fact that he got out in a similar fashion, that was troubling him four years back. Also Read - Australia vs India 3rd ODI in Canberra: Likely Playing XIs, Pitch Report, Toss Timing, Squads, Weather Forecast For 3rd ODI
He fished at a Paul Ian Walter ball at the fifth stump and that found the outside edge, only to be pouched by the first slip. In 2014, it was the area outside the off stump that was troubling him as he could not contain himself from falling for the cover drive. That year he got off 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0,7, 6 and 20 in the five Tests, averaging 13.50 in his 10 innings. In coloured clothes then, he got scores of 0, 40, 1* and 13. Also Read - Live Streaming Cricket India vs Australia 3rd ODI: When And Where to Watch IND vs AUS Live Cricket Match Online And on TV
Like during both times, he is pressing forward, but he half-commits himself and that leads to him not meeting the ball at the right spot. On the hindsight, in India that right foot is confident when approaching the ball. This little thing is bound to play in his mind when he faces Anderson and Broad in the 1st Test. Here is his dismissal which will remind you of 2014, it surely has similarities. Also Read - Pregnant Anushka Sharma Does a Headstand With Virat Kohli's Help, Should You Try Such Yoga Postures During Pregnancy? Here's What we Know
Earlier, Cheteshwar Pujara, who came into bat after opener Shikhar Dhawan fell for a golden duck, could only score a solitary run before falling prey to Matt Coles after getting a fine edge to the wicketkeeper to expose the middle-order of the team against Essex.
The right-handed batsman, arguably India’s most dependable number when it comes to Test cricket, spent the last few months in England where he turned up for county side Yorkshire after India’s one-off Test against Afghanistan where he scored 35 in the lone inning India played. However, he failed to come out with an impressive performance as in six county matches, he managed to score only 172 runs at a poor average of 14.33. His highest score was just 41.
ALSO READ: India vs England 2018: Pujara’s Horrid Run Continues, Fails To Score In Practice Game
The 30-year-old has had his share of issues overseas recently and has failed to impress while playing away from home. He could manage only 100 runs in six outings against South Africa earlier this year.
However, Pujara did assure himself that he was better than what he was in 2014 tour.
READ | Pujara Does a Gilchrist, Walks Off Even Before Umpire Raises Finger
“Playing county cricket is always helpful as it allows you to get used to the conditions. England is the toughest place to bat because you have to get used to the weather, and the seaming conditions. We have played a lot of cricket outside the sub-continent since our last tour of England in 2014 and that experience will also come in handy. We are better prepared this time,” Pujara told Hindustan Times.
At the time of filing this story, India was 235-5 with KL Rahul batting on 50 along Dinesh Karthik who was at the crease at 43*.