Former Cricketers slam Team India: Too much Defensive approach in the first test match against England

The Day 5 of the first test match between India and England witnessed many gripping events. England using the “Bazball” approach, won the first test match by 28 runs against India. Several former cricketers slam Team India for its defensive approach as well as shower praises on the exceptional performances of Ollie Pope and Tom Hartley.

On Day 3 and 4, England has a huge task of not only chasing the target of 190 runs but also ensuring that they lead the innings with huge runs. England’s vice-captain Ollie Pope showed his skills by achieving his 5th test hundred. Also, Axar Patel dropped his catch when he was at 110. Similarly, KL Rahul dropped an easy catch, thereby giving another lifeline to Ollie Pope on 186 runs.

From 163-5 in 36.5 overs to 420-10 in 102.1 overs, England completely rode on Ollie Pope’s heroics.

Particularly, on Day 4, the 80-run partnership between Ollie Pope and Tom Hartley proved to be a game-changing moment. Though Indian bowlers bowled out England, the visitors have positioned themselves in a safer zone.

India needed 231 runs to score to win the first match of the test series. Having a time of one-and-half days, the Indian batsmen played with an in-depth defensive approach rather than playing some calculated shots aggressively. As a result, the Indian batsmen gifted their wickets to England bowlers by playing over defensively.

Furthermore, the pitch at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, worsened on Day 4, thereby making it a nightmare for the batsmen.

Ollie Pope played a destructive knock of 196 runs from 278 balls (including 21 fours). Despite, missing his maiden double century by just 4 runs, Ollie Pope made a stunning comeback post his shoulder surgery. He single-handedly propelled England to a safe position.

Former Cricketers Slam Team India Defensive Approach: From Kevin Pieterson to Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri and Murali Karthik- The Indian former cricketers slam Team India about their body language. Also, England’s former player Kevin Pieterson indicated about the Pope and Hartley’s performance.

Apart from the former cricketers, Indian batsman Dinesh Karthik, who has turned into a full-time commentator has voiced his opinion about the field placements.

Murali Karthik:

The former left-arm spin bowler- Murali Karthik, the body language of the Indian fielders on the field:

“ You can see how the fielding performance of the players has changed. The body language of the Indian cricket team has proven to be dull and lethargic. Ever since the partnership between Ben Foakes and Ollie Pope, things have started to change by waiting for it to happen”.

Ravi Shastri:

Former Indian head coach and cricketer, Ravi Shastri accepted Murali Karthik’s judgment by highlighting the pressure Team India faced during the match:

“ Absolutely! The body language is descending. You can feel that the home team is completely under pressure. Also, this is an anonymous domain. Especially, since the home side is not used to visiting teams setting scoring 400-plus runs in the third innings.”

Kevin Pieterson:

Former England batsman Kevin Pieterson highlighted the partnership between Ollie Pope’s century and Tom Hartley’s 7-wicket haul:

“You can witness the unique mixture in the test cricket. It is a combination of the century and 7-wicket haul. This partnership destroyed the Indian spirit completely This partnership destroyed the Indian spirit completely

England have kept themselves totally in a controllable position. Indeed, it was a huge blow for Team India, when England took a lead of 200 runs and above.

It is incredibly difficult to bat in the fourth innings. Perhaps, it is a prime reason why teams cannot chase huge targets in the fourth innings of a test match. It is very formidable.”

Dinesh Karthik:

Indian veteran wicket-keeper and batsman Dinesh Karthik questioned Rohit Sharma’s captaincy by pointing out Team India’s defensive field placements set by him:

“It is a fact to accept. India has been overly defensive. Though it is mandatory to set a protective field against Ollie Pope, it is completely different in the case of Tom Hartley. At least, Ashwin and Jadeja should bring attacking fielders and try to avoid too many sweep shots.”

Aakash Chopra:

Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra criticized Rohit Sharma by indicating that Team India was over-relaxed on the field:

“As guessed it proved to be correct. Earlier, we predicted while commenting that the target of 200 runs was going to be certainly challenging.

But the entire Indian cricket team hasn’t given any thought about it. Rather, they allowed England to take as many singles as possible. Consequently, players like Rehan Ahmed and Ollie Pope grabbed away with a lot of runs in the relaxed field setting of the Indian cricket team.

I accept that Bumrah taking four wickets on a spin-friendly track, but what about the rest of the Indian bowlers?

Despite Indian spinners having a superior bowling attack, eventually, it was the England bowlers that conquered the game.”

Former Cricketers Slam Team India: Conclusive Facts  

Overall, England’s Bazball approach conquered India’s spin bowling attack in the first test match. Though Jasprit Bumrah took 4 wickets in the 2nd innings, ultimately, it was England spinners that took control over the match.

Especially, the former cricketers slam Team India for their weak spin bowling attack when compared to the England cricket team.

Hopefully, Rohit Sharma and his men need to analyze the drawbacks with both bat and ball. It would help to put up their best show against Ben Stokes’ led squad in the upcoming 2nd match that starts from 2nd February 2024 in Vizag.

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