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Nasser Hussain Labelled Oval Test As Virat Kohli’s Midas Test

Nasser Hussain, the former England captain has heaped praise on Virat Kohli’s captaincy on the final day of the fourth Test at The Oval. The Indian skipper once again orchestrated a masterclass on the final day to bowl out England and secure a 2-1 lead in the five-Test series.

Nasser Hussain claimed that Virat Kohli passed his captaincy test with flying colours as all three results were possible on the final day. Given the affinity of the Oval pitch towards the batsman in the latter days of a Test, doubts were raised about whether the Indian bowling unit could claim 10 wickets, especially when they returned empty-handed at the end of Day 4.

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

Nasser Hussain Labeled The 4th Test As Virat Kohli’s Midas Test- Everything He Touched Turned To Gold

Former England skipper Nasser Hussain said that the Oval win was Virat Kohli’s Midas touch and the India captain passed the captaincy test with flying colours on Day 5. Set a record 368 to win, England collapsed from 100 for no loss midway through the first session to getting bowled out for 210 – 40 minutes after tea, sparking wild celebrations among India’s players — particularly Virat Kohli — and fans inside the south London venue.

While writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Nasser Hussain termed the fixture as “Kohli’s Midas Test”: “Every bowling change worked, and so did every tweak to the field. And when he took the second new ball after tea, it produced a wicket straightaway, with Umesh Yadav getting Craig Overton. One way or another, this was Kohli’s Midas Test – everything he touched turned to gold, and India are now one game away from a famous series victory, not long after beating Australia in their own backyard.”

Virat Kohli became the first skipper to lead India to three Test wins in England. The tour also marks the first time India has won multiple Tests in the country since 1986. Nasser Hussain also noted the difference between the two skippers using their spinners. While he was critical of Joe Root, who brought in Moeen Ali very late, Virat Kohli persisted with spin at one end to keep his pacers fresh at the other with short fiery bursts.

He added: “Kohli also used Jadeja cleverly – in a way that Root failed to do with Moeen Ali on the fourth day. By keeping his spinner on at one end, India’s captain could rotate the quicks at the other, using them in short, sharp bursts and keeping them fresh. By ignoring Moeen, Root ended up bowling his seamers into the ground, with possible consequences for the fifth Test at Old Trafford.”

That Oval pitch offered very little for the seamers and only a bit of rough for Ravindra Jadeja’s left-arm spin. But somehow Virat Kohli manufactured 10 English wickets on the last day.  Every bowling change worked, and so did every tweak to the field. And when the Indian skipper took the second new ball after tea, it produced a wicket straightaway, with Umesh Yadav getting Craig Overton.

Nasser Hussain: Ravindra Jadeja Was Landing The Ball In The Rough Outside Right Hander’s Leg Stump Which Created Conditions Favouring Reverse Swing

While Ravindra Jadeja got the crucial wickets of Haseeb Hameed and Moeen Ali, Nasser Hussain reckons the southpaw played another important role by consistently bowling into the rough, allowing the ball to reverse, something the Indian pacers took full advantage of on Day 5.

Nasser Hussain explained: “Jadeja performed another important function too, aside from the important wickets of Haseeb Hameed and Moeen. He was landing it in the rough outside the right-hander’s leg stump, which created the conditions for reverse-swing, because it allowed them to keep one side rough and the other side smooth.”

Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)

India recorded a Test win at The Oval for the first time in 50 years. The visitors now have a 2-1 series lead with one Test remaining at Old Trafford in Manchester.

World Test Championship, India
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
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Virat Kohli Becomes The Asian Captain With Most Test Wins In SENA Countries

Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper has become the Asian captain with the most number of wins (6) in SENA countries with the win in the Oval Test against England on Monday.

SENA comprises South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia. Over the course of his captaincy career, Virat Kohli has recorded three Test wins in the UK, two in Australia, and one in South Africa. Virat Kohli is already the most successful Indian Test captain, having surpassed MS Dhoni in 2019.

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

Virat Kohli Proud Of The Team’s Character Shown In Both The Tests India Won

The Virat Kohli-led side stormed to an emphatic 157-run win over England to take a 2-1 lead in the ongoing five-match series. Indian bowlers delivered big time on the last day of the fourth Test at the Kennington Oval on Monday as the genius of mercurial Jasprit Bumrah, and all-around performance by Shardul Thakur in the match helped visitors in defeating England by 157 runs to gain a 2-1 in the five-match series.

This is also India’s first win in Oval in 50 years. Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram had won 4 Tests each in SENA countries while Virat Kohli has won 6 out of 22 Tests as 13 Tests were lost and 3 were drawn under his captaincy.

Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.

“Well, I think the best thing about both the games has been the character the team has shown. We are not looking to survive in this game, we are here to win. Really proud of the character the team has shown. It’s quite relative to what you call a flat. The conditions were hot and we knew were in with an opportunity when Jadeja was bowling in the rough. The bowlers were good with the reverse swing today. We believed we could get all 10 wickets, we had the belief,” Kohli told Sky Sports during the post-match presentation.

Shardul Thakur made two aggressive half-centuries (57 of 36 and 60 of 72), repairing a collapse in the first innings and stamping India’s advantage in the second. He also picked up 3 critical wickets in the game, including that of Joe Root on Monday.

Shardul Thakur was the top scorer for India in the first innings with 57 off only 36 balls. He then picked up the wicket of England’s top scorer in their first innings-Ollie Pope(81). Shardul Thakur then scored 60 of 72 balls in the 2nd innings and picked up crucial breakthroughs of opener Rory Burns (50) and England skipper Joe Root (36).

Virat Kohli: Rohit Sharma’s Innings Was Fantastic

Rohit Sharma was the highest scorer of the match, amassing an outstanding 127 in the second innings. In-form Rohit Sharma might miss the final Test in Manchester. Rohit Sharma, in fact, is currently the second-highest run-scorer of the series with 368 in eight innings.

“As soon as the ball started reversing, Bumrah said give me the ball. He bowled that spell and swung the game in our favour with those two huge wickets. I think you pointed his performance. Rohit’s innings was fantastic. What Shardul has done in this game stands out. His two fifties deflated the opposition. I think he batted well in both innings. We never go towards analysis, statistics, and numbers,” he added.

Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)
Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)

With the conditions good enough for batting, England openers got the hosts off to a decent start, with both scoring fifties, however, Shardul Thakur came into the attack and got rid of Rory Burns in his first over of day 5. Shardul Thakur who was part of the Indian quartet in scoring more than 50 runs in the second innings, also dazzled with the ball as he sent back Joe Root to the pavilion later.

England was still in the game until just after lunch on Day 5 when Jasprit Bumrah produced a glorious spell to give India a real shot at victory. India and England will now lock horns in the fifth and final Test, beginning September 10 at Manchester.

India 191 (Thakur 57, Kohli 50, Woakes 4-55) and 466 (Rohit 127, Pujara 61, Thakur 60, Pant 50, Woakes 3-83) beat England 290 (Pope 81, Woakes 50, Umesh 3-76) and 210 (Hameed 63, Burns 50, Umesh 3-60) by 157 runs

Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
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Michael Vaughan Staggered By Decision To Pick Rohit Sharma Not Shardul Thakur As MoM In The 4th Test

Michael Vaughan was ‘staggered’ by the Pataudi Trophy commentary panel’s decision to pick Rohit Sharma, and not Shardul Thakur, as Man of the Match for the 4th Test at the oval. The former England captain Michael Vaughan said the latter, who impacted the match four times with his all-around skills, deserved the award even more.

Rohit Sharma was the highest scorer of the match, amassing an outstanding 127 in the second innings. Shardul Thakur, on the other hand, made two aggressive half-centuries (57 of 36 and 60 of 72), repairing a collapse in the first innings and stamping India’s advantage in the second. He also picked up four critical wickets in the game, including that of Joe Root on Monday.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan: Shardul Thakur Should Have Been Awarded Man Of The Match

Rohit Sharma was named Man of the Match in the 4th Test for his brilliant century but he said that Shardul Thakur deserved it too for his all-around performance. Shardul Thakur was the top scorer for India in the first innings with 57 off only 36 balls. He then picked up the wicket of England’s top scorer in their first innings-Ollie Pope(81).

Shardul Thakur then scored 60 of 72 balls in the 2nd innings and picked up crucial breakthroughs of opener Rory Burns (50) and England skipper Joe Root (36).

“Ahh, he should have got Man of the Match. No question. Rohit played great but Shardul Thakur impacted the game four times – twice with the bat and twice with the ball,” said Michael Vaughan.

“Key wickets, that massive wicket of Ollie Pope (in the first innings), and then (in the second innings) Rory Burns first and then the captain. Two fifties – [India were] 117-7, he changed the course of the game in the first innings,” said Michael Vaughan.

“Under pressure in the second innings, he went in and got another fifty. I am staggered he wasn’t Man of the Match,” Michael Vaughan said in an interaction with Cricbuzz after the match.

India was tasked with defending over 290 runs on a batting-friendly Day 5. The hosts started patiently but both Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav couldn’t get any wickets.

Here, Shardul Thakur got the breakthrough on his first ball, dismissing Rory Burns for 50. He then came back in the innings to get Joe Root who played on to his stumps just when he was looking set for a big score. Consequently, India won the match by 157 runs, with Umesh Yadav cleaning the tail.

Shardul Thakur’s 2 Fifties Deflated The Opposition: Virat Kohli

Indian captain Virat Kohli was also all praise for Shardul Thakur in the post-match presentation. He said the all-rounder’s contributions were the difference between the two teams and will be “remembered for a long time.”

Shardul Thakur has featured in only 4 Tests so far since debuting in 2018 against the West Indies where he got injured and couldn’t bowl more than 10 balls. But the Australia tour in 2020/21 gave him another opportunity with several cricketers injured and he did well in both batting and bowling. He has so far amassed 190 runs averaging a decent 38 and picked up 14 scalps averaging an impressive 22.71.

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

“What Shardul has done in this game will be remembered for a long time. His fifty was the difference between a 150-160 run lead and a 100-run lead. His two fifties deflated the opposition. His counterattack in the second innings made a lot of difference. We thought they would restrict us to a reasonable total when I got out, but he changed it,” said Kohli.

India and England will now clash in the fifth and final Test at Old Trafford in Manchester on September 10.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Michael Vaughan Blames India And England Batsmen For Poor Batting On Day 1 Of The 4th Test

Michael Vaughan, former England captain, and broadcaster slammed the batters of both England and India for their lack of application on Day 1 of the Oval Test. He pointed out that there wasn’t any instance of the ball misbehaving. According to him, it was just poor batting on display.

After being put in to bat, India struggled to get going and scraped their way through to 191, courtesy of half-centuries from Virat Kohli and Shardul Thakur. England has already lost three wickets at the close of play on stumps at Day 1.

Shardul Thakur starred with a free-flowing half-century on Day 1 of fourth Test.© AFP
Shardul Thakur starred with a free-flowing half-century on Day 1 of the fourth Test.© AFP

Michael Vaughan: Day 1 Of The 4th Test Was A Really Poor Day For The Craftsmanship Of Test Match Batting

Michael Vaughan stated that the ball was expected to move around in the overcast conditions, but it wasn’t an unplayable surface by any means.

Michael Vaughan said on BBC’s Test Match Special podcast: “We know at the Oval that you get a true bounce. I haven’t seen any ball kept low or bounce too much. You have got to expect a little bit of movement when the clouds are around. I think it’s been a very good day for bowling. I don’t think it has been a great day for catching. because there have been catches that have been dropped. I think it has been a really poor day for the craftsmanship of Test match batting.”

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan

He further added that somebody ought to have put their hands up and scored that big knock on day 1.

“You can’t tell me that with the talent of players in both sides someone shouldn’t be getting a big score on that kind of surface.”

The fourth Test opened with the clatter of 13 wickets and, when the last of these fell moments before the close, Joe Root looking back at a set of stumps freshly rearranged by Umesh Yadav, the mood changed significantly.

Michael Vaughan: England Gifted A Couple Of Wickets

Michael Vaughan reckons that England gifted at least a couple of wickets to India in the last session. He marked his disappointment at the way opener Haseeb Hameed got out to a loose shot outside the off-stump.

“They gifted a couple of easy ones. Haseeb Hameed, opening the batting. Dots, dots, dots. Couldn’t get the scoreboard ticking. And all of a sudden he plays a big yaaahooo at a wide one. That’s not what opening batters should be doing.”

Joe Root is bowled by Umesh Yadav late on the first day of the fourth Test.
Joe Root is bowled by Umesh Yadav for 21 late on the first day of the fourth Test at the Oval, as India fought back Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

India has got the price scalp of Joe Root before stumps. Dawid Malan will resume the innings along with nightwatchman Craig Overton on Day 2. England trail India by 138 runs at the moment with 7 wickets in hand.

England’s reply began with the cheap removals of Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed, the pair unable to repeat the century stand witnessed at Headingley as Jasprit Bumrah bowled the former off the inside edge for five and then had the latter caught behind trying to open his account with an uppercut.

Umesh Yadav’s strikes in his first over of the 2nd day by sending back nightwatchman Craig Overton on 1 (12). An outswinger bowled by Umesh Yadav and Craig Overton went for a cut, getting an outside edge with Virat Kohli taking the catch.

Shardul Thakur | Twitter
Shardul Thakur | Twitter
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Shardul Thakur Wasn’t Aware Of Scoring The Fastest Test 50 In England Breaking Sir Ian Botham’s Record

Shardul Thakur scored a sensational 57 off just 36 deliveries as Joe Root and his men were rendered clueless.

Shardul Thakur turned out to be the saving grace for the Indian cricket team on Day 1 of the 4th Test match between England and India at the Kennington Oval. The right-handed batsman scored a sensational 57 off just 36 deliveries and was the top scorer. Virat Kohli also scored a fifty but was dismissed soon after.

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

Shardul Thakur Scored The Fastest Test Half-Century In England Breaking Ian Botham’s Record But He Wasn’t Aware Of It

Shardul Thakur achieved a special milestone as well during the course of his knock, and scored the fastest Test half-century on England soil, reaching his fifty off just 31 deliveries. And, he broke the record of the great Sir Ian Botham of England, who had reached his half-century off 32 deliveries.

Sir Ian Botham(Getty Images)
Sir Ian Botham(Getty Images)

And now, pace all-rounder Shardul Thakur has opened up on breaking Sir Ian Botham’s record. Stating that he was not aware of it initially, the 29-year-old added that it is a good feeling to score runs for India. Adding that his teammates were teasing him with Sir Ian Botham’s name, the right-hander said that it is nice to be compared to the greats of the game.

“I was not aware of it (breaking Ian Botham’s record). But it’s always good to score important runs for the team. Yes, these guys are teasing me with his name. But I think it’s good to be compared with the greats of the game,” said Shardul Thakur at the end of Day 1.

Shardul Thakur has played only 4 Tests in his career so far after debuting in 2018 against West Indies where he got injured after bowling only 10 balls. He managed 130 runs averaging 32.5 besides picking up 11 scalps averaging 23.

Shardul Thakur Said It Was Important To Play A Quick Innings And So He Kept Going For The Runs

Shardul Thakur added that it was important for him to play such innings, especially after the wicket of dashing keeper Rishabh Pant. Adding that there is no right way to score runs, Shardul Thakur opined that he could connect properly on Day 1, and so he kept going for his shots, instead of defending.

“When Rishabh got out, it was important for me to play such an innings. There are two ways, either you can be patient and bank on the partner to score runs or go and hit it. But at the end of the day, you have to score the runs. I think there is no right way of scoring runs. Runs are runs. Today was a day where I could connect properly. So I kept going for the runs,” added Shardul Thakur.

Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Shardul Thakur is confident that India’s total of 191 in the first innings is a score that will surely matter, and concluded by stating that the pitch is a good one for both batsmen as well as bowlers.

“Definitely, at one stage, we felt 150 or 170 as wickets kept falling at regular intervals. But 190 is a score, in the first innings, is going to count. Runs in the first innings are important and I think we have a chance. I think this pitch is good for both batsmen and bowlers. If you keep pitching in the right areas, something is there in the pitch. But at the same time, the margin of error is less as the batsman can score runs,” concluded Shardul Thakur.

There were only 2 changes in the Indian side that lost the previous Test by an innings. Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur came in as Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma had niggles.

Both justified their inclusion as Shardul Thakur top-scored with 57 and Umesh Yadav picked the crucial scalp of Joe Root before 1st day’s play came to an end.  Umesh Yadav clean bowled Joe Root (21) while Jasprit Bumrah dismissed both the openers as England ended on 53/3 trailing India by 138 runs.

 

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
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Virat Kohli Is Under A Lot Of Pressure Himself As Expectations From Him Are Huge: WV Raman

Virat Kohli hasn’t had the best time with the bat in India’s ongoing tour of England. In three Tests, the skipper has only scored 124 runs at an average of 24.80, which is much lower than the bar he’s set at the biggest stage. And his team’s heavy defeat in the third Test at Headingley has only made things worse. However, WV Raman has suggested a solution to his problems.

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. Fellow England skipper Joe Root, on the other hand, has amassed 507 runs at a Bradmanesque average of 126.75.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]

Virat Kohli Is Under A Lot Of Pressure: WV Raman

While speaking during an interaction arranged by Sony, the former India cricketer stated Virat Kohli is under pressure himself and that people “pay a lot of attention to everything he does.”

“See we cannot really fault him. What can generally be the norm in life and other spheres might not apply in cricket always. I mean, what has happened is, there is a lot of pressure on Virat himself. We pay a lot of attention to everything he does. We know he is one of the best batsmen so we expect a lot from him. It’s similar to how it was with Sachin Tendulkar when he was playing. Even 95 was considered a failure,” WV Raman said.

WV Raman PC: Twitter
WV Raman PC: Twitter

He then went on to give a piece of advice to Virat Kohli; saying that he should just “nudge the others from begins” and “lead from behind.”

“If I was Virat’s coach, I would tell him: “Virat, enough of this leading from the front. Just try and nudge the others from behind and get them to do what they can deliver. I’m sure you’ll be back at your best in no time”.

“He did show shades of his old game/fluency in the last innings. I’m sure he will definitely do well in the next two Test matches. As a leader, I’ll tell him, you need to discard and forget this thing of leading from the front. Nudge others and lead from behind,” explained WV Raman.

England leveled the five-match series 1-1 after romping to an innings and 76 runs win. The fourth Test will be played at the Kennington Oval, starting Thursday.

Virat Kohli Had A Poor Series In The 2014 England Tour Too

Virat Kohli has scored just 124 runs at a lowly average of 24.80 in the five innings he has played so far. The 55 runs he scored in his last knock is his only half-century of the series to date. 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.

Stuart Broad celebrates dismissing Virat Kohli during the 2014 series. Pic: Getty Images
Stuart Broad celebrates dismissing Virat Kohli during the 2014 series. Pic: Getty Images

In the 2014 England tour, the Indian skipper had a horrific series where he ended up scoring only 134 runs from four Tests. He averaged only 13, with scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6, and 20. Virat Kohli had contrasting tours of England in 2014 and 2018. In 2014, he managed only 134 runs in five Tests at a poor average of 13.40. Four years later, he hammered 593 runs in the five-Test series. Virat Kohli averaged 59.30 with two hundred in 2018.

World Test Championship, India
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
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Salman Butt Doesn’t Think Virat Kohli Will Make Too Many Changes For The 4th Test At Oval

Salman Butt, former Pakistan batter reckons captain Virat Kohli will not make a lot of changes to the Indian team for The Oval Test, which starts on September 2.

Team India lost the Headingley Test without putting up much of a fight, going down by an innings and 76 runs. With the win, England squared the five-match series 1-1.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

Salman Butt Doesn’t Think India Skipper Virat Kohli Will Make Too Many Changes For The 4th Test At Oval

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt stated that India is likely to retain more or less the same team for the next Test.

The former Pakistan skipper said: “After hearing Virat Kohli’s press conference, I don’t think he will be making too many changes for The Oval Test. He was not speaking about individual performances and instead said that everyone in the think-tank is concerned with how the team is performing, whether winning or losing. Kohli did not single out any particular player, which is good.”

“He said that the team will reflect on the improvements that are needed once the series is over. So he did not speak about any chopping and changing in the team,” Salman Butt said.

Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin in action. (BCCI)
Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin in action. (BCCI)

Salman Butt went on to add that veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin might come in for the next match.

“Any Asian side coming to England takes time to settle down. So he must be keen on carrying on with the same players. I think at least Ashwin will play this game. As for the batting, I don’t think he is going to make any changes. Remember, Kohli also said that he doesn’t believe in playing the extra batter in Test matches. According to him, if five-six cannot do the job, you cannot expect a seventh to do a lot,” said Salman Butt.

India triumphed in the Lord’s by 151 runs but failed to maintain the momentum at Headingley. They were all out for 78 batting first and were staring down the barrel from that point onwards.

Nasser Hussain Critical Of Virat Kohli For Playing At The Balls He Could Be Leaving

Nasser Hussain, a former England captain feels that Virat Kohli has been extremely tentative against the moving ball. According to Nasser Hussain, considering the quality of England’s pacers, life is not going to get any easier for the Indian captain. Virat Kohli has been dismissed caught behind in all five innings of the series so far.

“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, ” wrote Nasser Husain in his column.

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

Virat Kohli has scored only 124 runs in three Tests so far at an average of 24.80. In comparison, his opposite number, Joe Root, is the leading run-scorer in the series, having amassed 507 runs with three hundred at an average of 126.75.

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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.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
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Virat Kohli Is Finding Ways On How To Score Runs: Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra has pointed out that the Indian skipper figuring out ways to score runs is the fundamental difference between Virat Kohli and Joe Root at the moment.

Virat Kohli has scored just 124 runs at a below-par average of 24.80 in the three Tests against England so far. Joe Root, on the other hand, has amassed 507 runs at a Bradmanesque average of 126.75.

Joe Root, Virat Kohli (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Joe Root, Virat Kohli (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Aakash Chopra: Virat Kohli Is Still Trying To Figure Out Ways On How To Score Runs

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was asked about the fundamental difference between Virat Kohli and Joe Root in the ongoing series.

He replied: “There is a difference in runs. Root has reached 725, don’t know where he has reached, he is not stopping at all and is in a purple patch. Kohli is trying to figure out ways on how to score runs. It is not easy.”

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
The cricketer-turned-commentator highlighted that Virat Kohli seems to be low on confidence because of the lack of runs from his willow in recent times.

Aakash Chopra elaborated: “I feel confidence makes a huge difference, from where you are starting. India’s last Test series was against England in India, those were tough pitches, only Rohit Sharma could leave an impression as a batsman, a century each from Rishabh Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin, but that’s about it.”

Virat Kohli managed just 172 runs at an underwhelming average of 28.67 in the four Tests against England on home soil in 2020/21. 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.

In the 2014 England tour, the Indian skipper had a horrific series where he ended up scoring only 134 runs from four Tests. He averaged only 13, with scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6, and 20. Virat Kohli had contrasting tours of England in 2014 and 2018. In 2014, he managed only 134 runs in five Tests at a poor average of 13.40. Four years later, he hammered 593 runs in the five-Test series. Virat Kohli averaged 59.30 with two hundred in 2018.

Aakash Chopra: Virat Kohli Is Finding Out Ways To Score Runs In Challenging Conditions

Aakash Chopra pointed out that the seamer-friendly conditions in England are adding to Virat Kohli’s woes. Virat Kohli has been nicked out on every occasion.

He explained: “These are again challenging conditions. The opposition is bowling well and you are repeatedly getting out. The mindset and form Joe Root has, there is no false shot at all. The other batsmen are falling at the other end but there is no impact on the player.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former India opener signed off by stating that Virat Kohli is going through a lean patch, which happens with every cricketer.

Chopra observed: “He is in his own zone like Virat Kohli was in 2018. Every great player, who plays for a long time, will always go through such a phase sometime or the other where you will either get into a purple patch or you are just trying to figure out ways to score runs, sometimes ugly runs. That is what Virat Kohli is doing at the moment.”

The England bowlers have targeted Virat Kohli outside the off-stump and played with his patience. The Indian skipper had refrained from playing such deliveries for the majority of the time during his successful stint in 2018.

Dominic Cork © Getty Images
Dominic Cork © Getty Images
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Series Isn’t Dead And Buried Despite Hosts Bowlers’ Praiseworthy Show In England’s Win In The 3rd Test: Dominic Cork

Dominic Cork, a former England seamer has shared his thoughts on the England victory against India on day four at Headingley. England levelled the five-match series by sealing a win by an innings and 76 runs. Seamer Ollie Robinson earned the man of the match award with a fifer in the second innings.

India seemed set to stage a comeback after England bowled them out for 78 and going ahead by 354 runs at the end of the first innings. Though the tourists trailed by only 140 with eight wickets in hand on day four, things changed quickly. India lost their remaining wickets for 63 runs to concede the game.

England’s Ollie Robinson Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
England’s Ollie Robinson- Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters

Dominic Cork: The Conditions On The 4th Day Of The 3rd Test Helped England

Speaking on air after the game, Dominic Cork hailed England for maintaining the pressure consistently without leaking runs. The cricketer-turned-commentator opined that the conditions hugely helped the hosts in building pressure and taking wickets.

“Test cricket is hard enough when you are trying to get a total but when the opposition are not giving away easy runs… I think it was the pressure, the conditions helped England in the morning, they swung the ball put India under pressure took the wickets.,”

Dominic Cork Photo : AFP
Dominic Cork Photo: AFP

Dominic Cork was also delighted to see England’s batting line-up shaping up well sans Joe Root. However, Dominic Cork warned as the series remains alive and it could go either way.

“And if you look at the way England batted, this is the first time the top-4 have got fifties since 2013. So that shows the improvement in England’s top-4 and also Joe Root is in the form of his life, put that all together and I think ultimately England outplayed India.

“But this series is not dead and buried. We go to The Oval, flatter pitch, 2 matches to go… I don’t think anybody can predict the results,” Dominic Cork said.

England, yet again, produced a brilliant spell of fast bowling to dismantle the Indian batting line-up, taking eight wickets in the first session on Day 4 to bowl out the visitors for 278 in the second innings and win the 3rd Test by an innings and 76 runs.

The emphatic win at Headingley in Leeds helped the hosts level the five-match series at 1-1. Ollie Robinson was the star of the show on Day 4 for England, taking his 2nd five-wicket haul in Tests. James Anderson, Craig Overton, and Moeen Ali were also amongst the wickets as the Indian batsmen crumbled under pressure.

Dominic Cork: England Bowlers Constantly Swung The Ball Unlike Indian Bowlers

Dominic Cork felt England bowlers had full knowledge of the conditions and knew how to create wicket-taking angles and bowl the right lengths.

“England bowlers know these conditions, know this ground and understand that 4th-5th stump line that makes batsmen play at times. They also bowl slightly wide of the crease and create an angle. They make it look like you have got to play at the balls and they were also a little bit fuller,” Dominic Cork  added.

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

In contrast, he thought the Indian bowlers weren’t on point. Dominic Cork further pointed to Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s words about the England bowlers not allowing any easy runs.

“The Indian bowlers, their lengths were not the same as their English counterparts. England constantly swung the ball… Virat Kohli said at the presentation that England bowlers didn’t let them off the hook at any stage, they put them under pressure and didn’t allow easy runs,” Dominic maintained.

The two sides will meet at the Oval on the 2nd of September. India has only won twice at the venue, the last of which came in 1971. Hence, the hosts hold the upper hand going into the game.

Resuming at an overnight score of 215 for 2, India’s second innings folded in 99.3 overs with England pacer Ollie Robinson claiming five wickets. India was bundled out for a paltry 78 in their first innings on an opening day. England then posted 432 in their first innings to take a mammoth lead of 354 runs. India lost their last eight wickets for 63 runs in the morning session on Day 4 to hand England a convincing win.

England 432 (Root 121, Malan 70, Hameed 68, Burns 61, Shami 4-95) beat India 78 (Sharma 19, Anderson 3-6, Overton 3-14) and 278 (Pujara 91, Sharma 59, Kohli 55, Robinson 5-65) by an innings and 76 runs

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