Virat Kohli’s maiden century in England went in vain as India faced 31-run loss against the home side in the 1st Test at Edgbaston. Sam Curran, with his all-round performance, stunned the visitors and became player of this low scoring thriller, where any inappropriate move could have altered the face of the game. He bowled well when England was in need of wickets and took 4 wickets from India’s first innings. Moreover, he also batted well when England was in trouble and made crucial 63 runs for the team in second innings. Also Read - Shahid Afridi on Relationship With Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam Comparisons
So, before heading to Lord’s, India should incorporate 5 following things in order to bounce back in the series: Also Read - MS Dhoni Showed me The Real Picture Regarding 2019 World Cup: Yuvraj Singh
1. Slip catching is a very serious concern for Indians:
Well, slip catching has been a very serious concern for the Indians since the past few years. Indian fielders dropped almost 4 catches in the slip cordon. It was Shikhar Dhawan who made 3 blunders and just laughed off on it. Even, Ajinkya Rahane who is said to be one of the finest fielders in the world did the same mistake by dropping the catch of Jennings, who was dropped on 9 and made crucial 42 runs for the team. So, before heading at the Lord’s India should prepare their fielders in a way that they can’t drop a single catch because it is truly said that catches win matches. Also Read - BCCI to Impose Two-Year Ban on Players Committing Age, Domicile Fraud
2. Can’t afford to drop Cheteshwar Pujara in conditions like these:
It was a surprising move from the team management, asking Cheteshwar Pujara to warm the bench in a crucial opening test match of the series. KL Rahul seemed too inexperienced for the one-down position as he made only 4 and 13 runs in both innings, respectively. In both innings, Virat Kohli seemed to be wondering for the partner, who could have stood with him for the maximum time to build a strong inning. And, Pujara might have been the one who could have stood with Kohli in conditions like these, but he was missed and as a result, India consistently kept on losing wickets throughout the match.
3. The stumbling opening pair:
Apart from slip catching, team India’s opening partnership is also a serious concern on foreign soils. In 1st innings, Vijay and Dhawan stood for 50 runs but in the 2nd innings, they only stood for 19 runs. Apart from Dhawan’s miserable performance in fielding, he had not yet done anything big on this tour. He scored only 26 and 13 runs in both innings of the 1st test. Meanwhile, Vijay had also scored very low in both the innings. He scored 20 and 6 in both innings, respectively. So, in order to make huge innings for the team, Indian openers should stand for a very long.
4. Ajinkya Rahane’s poor form making a hole in the Indian batting order:
In his last five innings of his test career, he had scored only 84 runs. He had not made a single century or a half-century since, India’s tour of Sri Lanka in 2017. His poor form is making a hole in the Indian batting order. So, either KL Rahul should be given a chance to play on his position of second-down order or Rahane should open up a little more and play some aggressive cricket.
5. Need to focus on shot selection:
“Our shot selection could have been better”, very well said by the captain Kohli as Indians were mostly caught behind the stumps, either in keepers hand or in slips. They just threw their wickets by committing the same kind of mistake of playing the swinging outside off deliveries. Just like Kohli, other players should learn to leave the outside off stump deliveries, in order to score big.
The 2nd test match will be played at Lord’s on August 9, Thursday.