Was it re­ally that dis­mal?

Sportstar - - READERS’ COLUMN - NEHA SHETTY ■THE

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 five­match 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 20­over 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 20­year­old.

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 all­rounders in the form of Sam Cur­ran, Moeen Ali and the tail­en­ders who re­ally were the game­chang­ers. Jos But­tler surely was a sur­prise at No. 7 and was in fact the high­est run­get­ter for Eng­land in the se­ries.

Eng­land also had some fair share of prob­lems with its top­or­der un­der­per­form­ing. How­ever, the lower or­der held the team to­gether and that was the huge dif­fer­ence be­tween the two sides.

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 4­1, but that the matches were not one­sided 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 four­year reign of Kohli as the cap­tain of Team In­dia.

AU­THOR IS A STU­DENT AT CHRIST JU­NIOR

COL­LEGE, BEN­GALURU.

REUTERS

Point to pon­der: Vi­rat Kohli ex­celled as a bats­man, but fum­bled as a skip­per.

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