India vs Australia Test Series 2020-21 | Sportzwiki

India vs Australia Test Series 2020-21

Shane Warne - Getty Images
Shane Warne - Getty Images
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Shane Warne Praises Virat Kohli And Indian Team For Another Outstanding England Test Series

Shane Warne praised Indian captain Virat Kohli and his team’s magnificent show in the Test series against England. Australian spin legend Shane Warne has heaped praise on Virat Kohli and the Indian team for their stellar show in the Test series against England. The five-match Test series came to an abrupt end on Friday (September 10) with the fifth Test getting called off due to COVID-19 concerns in the Indian camp.

Shane Warne. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Shane Warne. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Shane Warne Felt A Bit Robbed That The 5th Test Didn’t Go Ahead As He Felt The Series Was An Outstanding One

India was leading the five-match series 2-1 having won the second and fourth Test respectively and were on the verge of their first Test series win in England after 14 years. However, COVID-19 jeopardized their chances of pulling off a historic win against the hosts in their own backyard.

The abrupt end to the Test series left several fans, experts, and former cricketers of the cricket fraternity disappointed including Shane Warne, who said he felt robbed as he doffed his hat to Virat Kohli and his Indian team for putting on a show in the Test rubber.

“I just feel a bit robbed. I feel this series has been absolutely outstanding. I take my hat off to India with the cricket they played. I think both sides have played in the right spirits. So I think we all feel a little bit robbed that this Test match didn’t go ahead. If they were in the middle of a Test match or delayed it by a couple of days, that means the flow-on effect with the IPL and everything else is going to be thrown into chaos so I’m not sure they are left with any other option,” Shane Warne said on Sky Cricket.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
Shane Warne said India ticked all the boxes in the Test series and saluted their desire to beat England in England irrespective of the swinging and seaming conditions.The first Test of the series ended in a draw, after more than two days of play was lost across the duration of the match to rain. India won the second Test by 151 runs, in the final hour of the fifth day, to take a 1–0 lead in the series. England won the third Test by an innings and 76 runs before the lunch break on day four, levelling the series 1–1. India won the fourth Test by 157 runs, to lead the series 2–1 before the 5th Test was cancelled.

Shane Warne Feel For The Players As The Tests Meant A Lot To Both The Sides

The Aussie legend hailed the visitors for showcasing their desire to be the no.1 Test team in the world and conquering English conditions after back-to-back Test series wins in Australia.

“I feel for the players. Both sides were up for it and I can tell that by the way the series has been played. This Test series meant a lot to both sides. India left the series 2-1. Being the No. 1 Test side was their goal. They wanted to beat England in England… in swinging and seaming conditions with the Dukes’ ball. So, they sort of felt like they ticked every box. They would have liked to go out on a high,” Shane Warne said.

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy
Image Source: AP IMAGE

“I saw India first hand this year in Australia play some amazing Test cricket. Just remember… they got bowled out for 36 in the first Test match and they came back and won the next. Virat Kohli went back home, they lost their captain, they had injuries. Australia hadn’t lost a Test match in Brisbane for 40 years.

“They chased over 300 to win. I just saw it firsthand how determined they were… how important Test cricket is. I think all of us have to say Thank You to Virat Kohli, thank you to India for pushing Test cricket,” he added.

Virat Kohli & Co. were a draw away from sealing the Test series against England. It would have been India’s first Test series win on English soil since 2014. BCCI has assured the England Cricket Board (ECB) of conducting the Test match at a later date next year to ensure a thrilling end to a riveting series.

Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)
Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)
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Sourav Ganguly Impressed With Well Fought India-England 5 Match Test Series

Sourav Ganguly, the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is left impressed with the spectacle being provided by both India and England in the ongoing five-match series in the UK.

The BCCI chief, Sourav Ganguly reckons that both countries have displayed great skill on the field and there is no substitute for a well-fought series. The ongoing series stands level at 1-1, and heading into the final day of the fourth Test at the Oval, hosts England need 291 more runs for the win with all ten wickets in hand.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sourav Ganguly: Nothing Can Beat A Well Fought Test Series

Former India captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly was left impressed with the way India and England are battling in the ongoing 5-match Test series. Sourav Ganguly reckoned that both teams have displayed great skill on the field and there is no substitute for a well-fought series.

“Cricket at its best…Nothing can beat a well-fought test series. The one in Australia and now this one. The most skilfull form of cricket [email protected] @ICC,” tweeted Sourav Ganguly.

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy
Image Source: AP IMAGE

 

Earlier this year, India had defeated Australia 2-1 in the Border Gavaskar Trophy against all odds. Many players got injured, skipper Virat Kohli headed home but under the leadership of Ajinkya Rahane and guidance of head coach Ravi Shastri, Team India pulled off a heist especially after losing the first Test, where they were bundled out for 36 in the second innings.

Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, and Shardul Thakur Score More Than 50 Runs Each To Set England A Stiff Target Of 368

Coming back to the ongoing Test series, England has been set a target of 368 in the fourth Test of the five-match series and the hosts have all ten wickets in hand heading into the final day of an absorbing Test match. Earlier, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, and Shardul Thakur all registered scores of more than 50 as India set a target of 368 for England on Day 4 of the ongoing fourth Test here at the Kennington Oval on Sunday.

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah also played cameos of 25 and 24 as India posted a score of 466 in the second innings, extending the lead to 367. For England, fit-again Chris Woakes returned with three wickets. At stumps on Day 4, England’s score read 77/0– still needing 291 runs for the win with all ten wickets in hand. For the hosts, Rory Burns (31*) and Haseeb Hameed (43*) are at the crease.

Shardul Thakur (60 off 72) struck his second fifty of the match and shared a hundred-run stand with Rishabh Pant (50 off 106) to put India in a strong position. Resuming the day at 270 for three, India lost three wickets in the morning session including skipper Virat Kohli (44 off 96). Chris Woakes removed Ravindra Jadeja (17) and Ajinkya Rahane (0) whose struggles continued. On Saturday, Rohit Sharma hit his first hundred in overseas conditions to bring India back in the match after England took a 99-run first-innings lead.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
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Ravi Shastri Suggests Not To Count India Out With 2 More Tests Left

Ravi Shastri reiterated that India has shown tenacity in the recent past to bounce back from morale-crushing losses to stage-famous wins, suggesting people not to count India out with two matches to go. The recent Test series in Australia was a big example of India staging a comeback series victory with their backs to the wall.

India will be heading into the Oval Test on the back of a crushing innings defeat at Headingly, but Ravi Shastri has a clear-cut message to his boys – Remember the good, forget the bad – and that is what the India head coach will be expecting from the team when they face England in the fourth Test starting Thursday.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravi Shastri Urges India To Think Of Victory At Lords And Forget The Loss At Headingley

Ravi Shastri said that with the series level at 1-1, the onus is on England to perform and win the series the way India beat them in the latter’s home Test series earlier this year.

“It’s very easy, you just go back to Lord’s. Just think Lord, forget the last one. As simple as that. I know it’s easier said than done but we should remember your good moments as well. Such things happen in the game,” Shastri told ‘Times Now Navbharat’ while promoting his new book ‘Stargazing’.

Indian Test Team
Indian Test Team[photo: Twitter]
Weighing on the defeat at Headingly, Ravi Shastri admitted that getting bowled out for 78 in the first innings forced India to play catch up for the rest of the game and even though the team showed fight in the second innings, the damage inflicted in the first proved too much for the side to overcome.

“England was in the driver’s seat and we snatched victory. In the last Test match, they bowled brilliantly. They caught us on the hop on the very first day of the Test match, they put us on the back foot,” Shastri stated.

“Even though we showed glimpses of a fight in the second innings, I think that first, you know, early dismissal of our players and getting all out for 78 played its part. But this series is wide open.”

Being 1-0 down, losing the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli due to his paternity leave, having lost several key players like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin, KL Rahul, and Ravindra Jadeja due to injuries at various stages of 4 match Test series, a second-string Ajinkya Rahane-led India staged a comeback as they won their second straight Test series on Australian soil.

In the next Test series against England in India, England won the first Test by 227 runs only to lose the next 3 Tests by 317 runs, 10 wickets, and an innings and 25 runs. Ravichandran Ashwin picked 32 scalps and debutant Axar Patel picked 27 scalps. Joe Root amassed 368 runs while Rohit Sharma managed 345 runs.

Ravi Shastri: Pressure Is On England As India Won’t Back Off

India has shown tenacity in the recent past to bounce back from morale-crushing losses to stage-famous wins – the series in Australia was a big example of the comeback. Ravi Shastri reiterated the same, suggesting people not to count India out with two matches to go.

In the Australian tour, after losing the first Test in Adelaide by eight wickets, India roared back to take the series 2-1, winning the second and fourth Tests in Melbourne and Brisbane respectively, while the third Test match in Sydney ended in a magnificent draw.

“If anyone thinks that this Indian team is going to back off, they have another thing coming because, at 1-1, we are playing overseas, the pressure is on England. They have to win in their own country. We have done what we had to do with them in India. So, the ball is in their court and we will fight, there’s no question about it,” Shastri added.

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source: AP IMAGE

The India coach reckons that with the series level at 1-1, the pressure is not on India, but on hosts England.

 

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Not Easy For Virat Kohli Whether To Play Or Leave The Balls During High-Class Bowling From England: Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain, the former England captain and broadcaster opined that the Indian skipper Virat Kohli seemed unsure against the moving ball and it will only get tougher for him as the series progresses. He pointed out how Virat Kohli was playing at deliveries in the corridor and kept nicking the ball behind.

Virat Kohli was caught behind in all five innings that he batted in the series so far. He got out twice each to pacers James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, and once to pace all-rounder Sam Curran.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nasser Hussain: Virat Kohli Is Unsure Whether To Play Or Leave The Balls

Nasser Hussain zoomed in on a technical issue that was making it hard for Virat Kohli to pick the line of the ball.

“Kohli has played at balls he could be leaving, he seems to have that slight technical issue I highlighted in these pages with the positioning of his back foot and he is not picking up the line of Anderson and Robinson.

“Kohli is not sure whether to play or leave and whether to set himself for the inswinger or not. He doesn’t know what to do. It’s high class bowling and it’s not going to get any easier for him,” Nasser Hussain wrote.

A dejected Virat Kohli walks off after losing his wicket against England in the third Test.
A dejected Virat Kohli walks off after losing his wicket against England in the third Test. Photograph: Nigel French/PA

The former England batter added that Virat Kohli batted well on Day 3 of the Headingley Test on his way to a half-century, but the old ball made it easier for him.

“He did go through a spell on the third day, admittedly against an older ball, where he was leaving it well. But it’s harder to leave the new ball because it swings later, and he was out again on Saturday in a familiar manner.”

Across formats, the India skipper hasn’t scored a century since November 2019 and has also slipped to the 5th spot in the ICC Test rankings as a batsman. Virat Kohli has scored just 124 runs at a below-par average of 24.80 in the three Tests against England so far. His compatriot Joe Root, on the other hand, has amassed 507 runs at a Bradmanesque average of 126.75.

Nasser Hussain Warns England Of Complacency Pointing Out To India’s Stunning Win In Australia With Injured Players Unavailable And Being 1-0 Down

Nasser Hussain warned England not to write India off after their emphatic victory at Headingley in the third Test. Nasser Hussain lauded the character India has shown in recent matches and reminded the home side of the way India came back after the Adelaide debacle.

“But the last thing England must do now is think they have done the hard work and write India off ahead of Thursday’s fourth Test in south London and the final match at Old Trafford — grounds which should suit their attack better.

“Remember, they were bowled out for 36 by Australia in Adelaide late last year but came back to pull off a famous series win. And after Kohli had gone home, too. India do have a lot of strength of character and fight, and central to that is their captain.”

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source: AP IMAGE

Nasser Hussain reminded England that India has shown a lot of character under Virat Kohli. Both sides have little turnaround time after the third Test as the action moves to the Oval. The fourth Test of the series will commence on September 2, Thursday.

Being 1-0 down, losing the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli due to his paternity leave, having lost several key players like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin, KL Rahul, and Ravindra Jadeja due to injuries at various stages of 4 match Test series, a second-string Ajinkya Rahane-led India staged a comeback as they won their second straight Test series on Australian soil.

Wasim Jaffer (Credits: Twitter)
Wasim Jaffer (Credits: Twitter)
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Wasim Jaffer Praises Indian Test Team For Consistent Performances

Wasim Jaffer firstly tipped his hat to the Indian side as they have been putting in such performances “for a while now” pointing out to wins against Australia and England where they won the series despite losing the first Test by a huge margin.

If there is anything the second-Test defeat reinforced about England, it is that their batting line-up is heavily dependent on skipper Joe Root. The right-hander has already smashed five centuries this season and is the only England batsman who has looked comfortable in the first two Tests against India. Wasim Jaffer has opined that if this doesn’t change, England will likely “go down”.

Wasim Jaffer(Satish Bate / Hindustan Times)
Wasim Jaffer(Satish Bate / Hindustan Times)

Wasim Jaffer: Indian Test Team Should Be Credited As They Have Been Performing Well Recently Both Against Australia And England

While speaking in a video on his YouTube channel, Wasim Jaffer firstly credited the Indian side as they didn’t give up despite losing the first Test in Australia tour and against England at home. He added that even at home against England earlier this year, India bounced back from a tough position to win the series 3-1.

“Hats off to this Indian side because they have been doing this for a while now. It was the same during the Australian tour, they had their backs against the wall, not in one but many Test matches and they proved that they don’t give up. They played exactly like this even in India against England after being one-nil down to win the series 3-1. They have been outstanding,” explained Jaffer.

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source: AP IMAGE

Being 1-0 down, losing the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli due to his paternity leave, having lost several key players like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin, KL Rahul, and Ravindra Jadeja due to injuries at various stages of 4 match Test series, a second-string Ajinkya Rahane-led India staged a comeback as they won their second straight Test series on Australian soil.

In the next Test series against England in India, England won the first Test by 227 runs only to lose the next 3 Tests by 317 runs, 10 wickets, and an innings and 25 runs. Ravichandran Ashwin picked 32 scalps and debutant Axar Patel picked 27 scalps. Joe Root amassed 368 runs while Rohit Sharma managed 345 runs.

Wasim Jaffer: England Are Heavily Dependent On Joe Root

Talking about England, Wasim Jaffer warned the hosts that if they don’t sort out their batting, they will “go down” and that India may go on to win their first Test series on English soil this decade.

“England will have to recover really quickly now and sort out their batting more than the bowling. They rely heavily on Joe Root and someone else needs to step up and do so quickly otherwise they look like they’ll go down. India haven’t won a Test series [in England] for a while but it looks very likely that this Indian team is going to dominate the next Test and probably even further in this series,” commented Jaffer.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Joe Root has amassed 1277 runs playing 10 Tests in 2021, averaging 57.21, and has hit 5 tons. He scored 228 and 186 against Sri Lanka and hit 218 in the 1st Test against and in India while scoring 109 and an unbeaten 180 in the first two successive Tests when India toured England. The third of the five Tests between India and England will begin on August 25 at Headingly, Leeds.

Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer has asserted that England’s line-up is over-reliant on skipper Joe Root and needs to fix their batting woes in order to survive in the series and feels India is favourites to win the series. Day 5 of a dramatic Lord’s Test saw India bundle the hosts out for 120 to claim a 1-0 lead in the 5-match Test series. It was a brilliant bowling display on show, and the English batsmen couldn’t survive the onslaught.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane
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Ajinkya Rahane Is Criticized Often But The Series Triumph In Australia Came Under His Leadership: Virender Sehwag

Ajinkya Rahane shut his critics with a fighting knock on the fourth day of the ongoing Lord’s Test. The India vice-captain scored a gritty 61 off 146 deliveries to anchor the innings after the hosts lost three crucial wickets – KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli – in the morning session.

Ajinkya Rahane paired with Cheteshwar Pujara (45) to put up a solid 100-run stand for the fourth wicket to put India in a comfortable position until Moeen Ali turned the tables in the final session. He took down Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja (5) before bad light forced early stumps on Sunday.
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Ajinkya Rahane Played A Really Good Knock And Had Luck On His Side: Virender Sehwag

Ajinkya Rahane was praised by former India swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag for his resilient knock of 61-his first fifty in the last 10 innings that was laced with 5 boundaries.

“He played a really good knock. He had luck on his side as he got dropped on 39. He would be satisfied with his innings. Not happy off course but he will be satisfied after getting 60 odd runs to his credit. Had he converted that fifty into a century, he would’ve been happier,” Sehwag said.

Virender Sehwag lauds Ajinkya Rahane’s gritty knock(Agencies/HT Collage)
Virender Sehwag lauds Ajinkya Rahane’s gritty knock(Agencies/HT Collage)

Ajinkya Rahane shut his critics with a fighting knock on the fourth day of the ongoing Lord’s Test. The India vice-captain scored a gritty 61 off 146 deliveries to anchor the innings after the hosts lost three crucial wickets – KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli – in the morning session.

Ajinkya Rahane paired with Cheteshwar Pujara (45) to put up a solid 100-run stand for the wicket to put India in a comfortable position until Moeen Ali turned the tables in the final session. He took down Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja (5) before bad light forced early stumps on Sunday.

Ajinkya Rahane stepped up as stand-in captain in Australia and hit a series-defining hundred in Melbourne but he has been inconsistent with the bat since then. He scored 67 against England at home and 61 in the Lord’s Test-his only 2 fifties in the last 16 innings or so.

Ajinkya Rahane Is Criticized Often But The Series Triumph In Australia Came Under His Leadership: Virender Sehwag

Former India opener Virender Sehwag lauded Ajinkya Rahane for his resilient knock of 61 that was laced with 5 boundaries. While heaping praise on the Mumbai batsman, Virender Sehwag recalled India’s heroics in Australia earlier this year. In the 2020/21 Australia series, Ajinkya Rahane set the tone for a dramatic turnaround for the visitors with a match-winning ton in the 2nd Test at Melbourne.

He was the guiding light for the youngsters like Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, and T Natarajan who stepped up in the absence of senior injured players like Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja and gave their best to outclass the Aussies in their own backyard.

“I must say that we criticize him often. We shouldn’t forget the series triumph in Australia. He scored a hundred in Melbourne after India was all-out for 36 in Adelaide. India won at MCG, drew in Sydney, and won in Brisbane. I feel the series win in Australia is the biggest overseas win and it was under Rahane’s leadership. We criticise him a lot but we had our greatest Test series win under his leadership,” he added.

Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane Image Source : GETTY IMAGE
Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane Image Source: GETTY IMAGE

When bad light forced early stumps on day four, India reached 181 for six, leading England by 154 runs. Rishabh Pant (14*) will need some support from the long Indian tail to add some valuable runs on the fifth morning.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
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Ravi Shastri Plans To Part Ways As Team India Coach After T20I World Cup: Report

Ravi Shastri has informed some cricket board members that he is planning to part ways with the national team after the forthcoming T20I World Cup when his contract ends, it is learnt. Some of the other support staff, meanwhile, are already in talks with IPL teams. Team India’s backroom may soon undergo a total revamp.

Head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and batting coach Vikram Rathour are all set to move on after the T20 World Cup to be held across October-November in the UAE.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravi Shastri Plans To Part Ways As Coach Of India After T20I World Cup

Ravi Shastri has informed some cricket board members that he is planning to part ways with the national team when his contract ends. Some of the other support staff, meanwhile, are already in talks with IPL teams. The cricket board also wants a new group on board, sources said.

Ravi Shastri first took over the team in 2014 as director till the T20 World Cup in 2016 after which Anil Kumble was appointed for a year. He was made the full-time coach in 2017 after India’s defeat in the Champions Trophy final. With Ravi Shastri as a coach, India won two away series in Australia before reaching the finals of the World Test Championship last month.

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source: AP IMAGE

Bharat Arun was instrumental in making India’s bowling one of the most feared in the world while R Sridhar played a role in the evolution of the team as a sturdy fielding side. However, India could not land an ICC trophy during their tenure, losing in the semifinal of the 50-over World Cup in 2019 and the final of the World Test Championship.

The setbacks aside, India made massive leaps in their four-year tenure, clean-sweeping Test series in West Indies and Sri Lanka, and putting on creditable shows in South Africa and England. At home, they were near-invincible, defeating Australia, England and South Africa.

During this period, India’s bench strength increased manifold — as borne out by the staggering series win in Australia in 2020/21 where key players were ruled out due to injuries— with a swelling pool of ready-for-international cricketers.

BCCI has set an upper age limit for the head coach job to 60. At 59, Ravi Shastri will only have the chance to lead the team for another year, so both BCCI & the head coach is set to explore other options. There are indications from the BCCI which suggests that the board is now looking beyond Ravi Shastri.

Rahul Dravid Is One Of The Frontrunners To Take Over As India’s Coach If He Decides To Apply

Ravi Shastri is widely credited with infusing the streak of resilience that has come to define this team. His chemistry with Virat Kohli was visible even as he groomed the youngsters in the team – the blossoming of Rishabh Pant is a case in point. But now, the cricket board has decided that a change is needed for the team to reach the next level, and emerge as world-beaters in all forms of the game.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

According to protocol, the board will invite applications for the coaching positions after the T20 World Cup. Some officials are already pointing to Rahul Dravid, the NCA chief and coach of India ‘A’ and U-19 sides — and the second-string international side that performed impressively in Sri Lanka last month by winning the ODI series.

Rahul Dravid’s experience in working with most of the current senior team, especially those who had been India-A regulars, would make him one of the frontrunners if he decides to apply.

However, when asked about this option during the Lanka tour, he said: “I have enjoyed the experience of working with these guys, it has been great. I have not given any other thoughts to anything else. There are a lot of challenges in doing full-time roles, so I really don’t know,” he said.

Incidentally, Rahul Dravid’s contract with the NCA ends in September. Rahul Dravid has been touted as a potential head coach ever since his retirement in 2012. However, pundits and former cricketers close to him have often suggested that the 48-year-old is reluctant to put up with the immense travel and trips away from home that comes with the job.

Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP
Rishabh Pant. File | Photo Credit: AFP
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Saba Karim Impressed With Rishabh Pant’s Wicket-keeping In The 1st Test

Saba Karim, the former Indian wicketkeeper was impressed with Rishabh Pant’s wicketkeeping in the first Test against England. Keeping wickets in England is never easy as the ball moves a lot sometimes after it passes the pitch.

However, Rishabh Pant not only collected the ball well but also took some stunning catches. Saba Karim is of the opinion that Rishabh Pant was better with his glovework than England keeper Jos Buttler.

Saba Karim
Saba Karim (Source: Twitter)

Saba Karim: Rishabh Pant’s Keeping Was Brilliant In The 1st Test

Speaking on the YouTube show ‘Khelneeti’, Saba Karim explained how Rishabh Pant’s improved wicketkeeping skills are a huge positive for India. Saba Karim asserted that the conditions were challenging for a wicketkeeper as in England the ball continues to moves even after passing the batsman with the late swing. Despite that Rishabh Pant managed to make no notable mistake. He took 7 catches in the match giving brilliant support to the pacers.

“Rishabh Pant was brilliant with his wicketkeeping. I noticed that the way the ball was wobbling after crossing the wicket, it wasn’t easy. But his keeping was better than that of Jos Buttler. Buttler has played so many times in his home conditions, but Rishabh Pant was brilliant behind the stumps by taking so many catches.”

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant | Twitter

Rishabh Pant continued his love affair with Australia on India’s last tour in 2020-21. With the team battling multiple adversities and injuries, he scored 97 runs off 118 balls in the third Test and an unbeaten 89 in the fourth Test in Brisbane and was adjudged Man of the match, as India won the match and series. Rishabh Pant scored 274 runs in 3 Tests in Australia averaging 68.5.

Rishabh Pant was picked in the playing XI again ahead of Wriddhiman Saha for the home Test series against England. In the four Tests, he scored 270 runs at an average of 54.00, including one century and two fifties. He batted at a strike rate of 84.11 in the four-match series, which India won comprehensively 3-1.

Saba Karim: It’s A Privilege To See Veteran England Pacer James Anderson Bowling In The Twilight Of His Career

Saba Karim was also in awe of England’s legendary pacer James Anderson. The 39-year-old is approaching the twilight of his career but looked his threatening best in the first Test against India. He also crossed Anil Kumble’s tally of 619 Test wickets to become the third-highest wicket-taker of all time in Tests.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

“It is a privilege for us to see James Anderson playing at this stage of his career. The way he works hard and prepares for every series, every batsman is tremendous. His mindset and the way he sets up batsmen is something to watch for all youngsters,” Saba Karim concluded.

Rishabh Pant’s favourite tour is obviously the Australian tour for he has amassed a staggering 624 runs in only 7 games averaging 62.4 with 1 hundred -his career-best of unbeaten 159 and 2 fifties which came in 2018-19. In the recent 2020-21 tour- he scored 97 which helped India draw the 3rd Sydney Test and then 89* which helped India to win the Brisbane Test and claim their second successive series win Down Under.

James Anderson’s four for 54 against India in the 1st innings took him third in the all-time list of Test wicket-takers with 621 scalps. After the first Test ended in a stalemate, the two teams will now go head to head in the second game at Lord’s from Thursday (August 12).

Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images
Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images
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Mohammed Siraj Slowly Pushing His Way As India’s 2nd Choice Bowler In The XI, Says Brad Hogg

Brad Hogg, former Australia cricketer reckons Mohammed Siraj is pushing his way into India’s playing XI as the second-choice fast bowler. Brad Hogg believes Mohammed Siraj is making huge strides and climbing up the pecking order. Mohammed Siraj picked up one wicket in the first innings and two scalps in the second. He earned praise for hitting the right areas and troubling the batters.

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow seemed to be slowly bringing England back into the game, building a solid partnership for the fourth wicket on Day 4. But Mohammed Siraj had other ideas as he dismissed Jonny Bairstow in the second session of the day’s play and that proved to be crucial in the context of the game.

Brad Hogg: File photo(Getty Images)
Brad Hogg: File photo(Getty Images)

Brad Hogg: Mohammed Siraj Slowly Pushing His Way As India’s 2nd Choice Bowler In The XI

Brad Hogg was impressed with the way Mohammed Siraj kept coming hard.

“Siraj brilliant love his energy to keep coming in a full-tilt every ball and not afraid to express himself. Slowly pushing his way as India’s second choice bowler in the XI,” Brad Hogg tweeted.

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The Trent Bridge Test is Mohammed Siraj’s sixth in a short career so far. He has 19 wickets against his name, including a five-wicket haul in Australia, proving that he belongs on the international stage.

Jasprit Bumrah Picks Up 9 Scalps As Indian Pacers Shared All 20 Wickets For The 2nd Time In Indian Cricket History

The fast bowling unit led by Jasprit Bumrah has put India in a winning position in the 1st Test against England. The pacers shared all 20 wickets in the game. The feat has only been achieved once before by an Indian bowling line-up – in the Johannesburg Test against South Africa in 2018. Chasing a target of 209 runs, India is 57/1 at stumps on Day 4 losing India’s first innings’ top scorer KL Rahul.

India's Jasprit Bumrah fields during the third day of first test cricket match between England and India, at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. AP Photo/Rui Vieira
India’s Jasprit Bumrah fields during the third day of the first test cricket match between England and India, at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. AP Photo/Rui Vieira

Mohammed Siraj had troubled England batsmen on lifeless Indian pitches while bowling match-winning figures in Australia as he spearheaded the pace attack and was India’s highest wicket-taker with 13 scalps. But experienced Ishant Sharma was preferred ahead of him in the WTC final.

Mohammed Siraj played a key role in India’s wins in the Melbourne and Brisbane Tests in the Australian tour. The 25-year-old pacer made his debut in the second Test in Melbourne and immediately made his mark in international cricket.

Eventually, he ended up as the highest wicket-taker for India with 13 wickets in the Border- Gavaskar Trophy 2020/21. What makes his performance even more praise-worthy was that Mohammed Siraj had lost his father when he was touring Australia for series.

World Test Championship, India
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
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Multi-dimensional Shardul Thakur Can Definitely Be Created Into An All Rounder, Says Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper has heaped praise on Shardul Thakur, stating that the Mumbai bowler could gradually be moulded into a bowling all-rounder.

Shardul Thakur burst onto the scene in the final Test against Australia in Brisbane earlier this year when most of the senior players were out with injuries. It was just his second game for India in the longest format and came up with a gritty half-century and picked up seven wickets.

Shardul Thakur- Getty Images
Shardul Thakur- Getty Images

Virat Kohli: Multi-Dimensional Shardul Thakur Can Definitely Be Created Into An All Rounder

Mentioning his role in the historic win in Brisbane, Virat Kohli, while addressing a pre-match virtual presser, termed Shardul Thakur a multi-dimensional cricketer who could bring balance to the team.

“Yes, he can definitely be created (into an all-rounder). He already is a multi-dimensional cricketer and it’s all about him getting more and more confident. Someone like him brings a lot of balance to the Test team or for that matter any format of the game.”

“Hardik has done that so far in the past and he is getting back on track to bowling regularly. These kinds of cricketers help the team in a massive way and Shardul is a huge prospect for us. Someone who will be very important not just this series but moving forward as well,” said Virat Kohli at the press conference on Tuesday.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Compared to 2018, when the team lost 1-4 due to a couple of bad sessions, the skipper feels that they are much better prepared this time around with two months in England helping them to acclimatize with changes in the weather pattern. India and England will square off in the first Test of the 5-match series which kicks off on Wednesday at Tent Bridge, Nottingham.

“The players, who were inexperienced in 2018 are now more experienced. Yes, there will be failures but we will have enough players to raise their hands up and be counted in pressure situations,” said Virat Kohli.

Shardul Thakur was the lone fast-bowling all-rounder in India’s squad for WTC Final but he failed to make it to the final 15, let alone the XI. The two-Test old Shardul Thakur was mighty impressive in the only longest format game he played in the away series against Australia this year, picking up seven wickets and a half-century to boot in Brisbane.

India Is Worried And Concerned About The Opening Slot For The 1st Test As Shubman Gill And Mayank Agarwal Has Been Ruled Out Due To Injuries

The first Test between India and England has been scheduled between August 4 and August 8. The outing will commence from 3:30 PM IST at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham. This match is the first of the five-match series which is being played as a part of the second cycle of the World Test Championship 2023.

The Virat Kohli-led team will be without Mayank Agarwal in the first Test after he got hit on the head during a practice session ahead of the series. KL Rahul will probably open as he is in fine form in the IPL 2020 and 2021 and carried that in the warm-up match against Select County XI, where he slammed a century. The Indian side has been in great form and their performance in the previous World Test Championship was also praiseworthy.

Mayank Agarwal (L), KL Rahul (R) and Shubman Gill (C) (Getty Images)
Mayank Agarwal (L), KL Rahul (R) and Shubman Gill (C) (Getty Images)

The team had managed to make it to the finals but were unfortunately defeated by New Zealand during the match at Southampton. One of the major concerns for the team could be deciding the opening batsman for the upcoming game as Shubman Gill is not a part of the squad for the series.

England, on the other hand, lost their last Test match series against New Zealand by 0-1. Earlier this year during the February-March tour of England, India had successfully defeated their opponent by a margin of 3-1.

India Predicted XI: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja/Shardul Thakur/Mohammed Siraj, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

 

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