India has lost yet another series abroad and questions have been raised about the standard of the team and the selection calls. It is difficult to be in skipper Virat Kohli’s shoes right now. He has performed exceptionally well with the bat, but his captaincy has left a lot to be desired.
When the team was selected, there was a lot of hope that instead of winning that one odd Test overseas, it would go all the way and win a proper five-match series. The team had a plethora of players who had proved themselves consistently in the domestic circuit and the IPL, though the latter event, a 20-over affair, was far removed from Test match cricket.
Rishabh Pant was selected as an understudy to Dinesh Karthik. However, he made an entry into the Test team and played quite well for a 20-year-old.
The fact that he dispatched the very second ball of his career for a six and brought about his maiden century at the Oval with a maximum proves that he is confident about his game and is not afraid of anything.
Hardik Pandya surely did not make a case for being the No. 6. He performed well in only one Test whereas England boasted of genuine all-rounders in the form of Sam Curran, Moeen Ali and the tail-enders who really were the game-changers. Jos Buttler surely was a surprise at No. 7 and was in fact the highest run-getter for England in the series.
England also had some fair share of problems with its top-order underperforming. However, the lower order held the team together and that was the huge difference between the two sides.
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India can look at a lot of positives. One, Kohli’s undeniable supremacy with the bat and how his team’s failures are not affecting his individual performances, Rishabh Pant’s wicketkeeping and batting that make him a future asset to the Test team, Jasprit Bumrah’s stellar performance as a wily paceman and the bowling unit as a whole performing consistently well.
It surely was disappointing to lose the series 4-1, but that the matches were not one-sided speaks volumes about the grit and determination of this team.
Let’s hope that they take the positives from here, work on the weaknesses and do well Down Under, a tour which will mark the four-year reign of Kohli as the captain of Team India.
The author is a student at Christ Junior College, Bengaluru.
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