India were pretty ordinary, could have been more positive in their batting approach, says Kumble

January 29, 2024
Former India captain Anil Kumble said the hosts’ were pretty ordinary and that they could have shown more positivity in their batting approach

Hyderabad, Jan 29 (IANS) Former India captain Anil Kumble said the hosts’ were pretty ordinary and that they could have shown more positivity in their batting approach after losing the opening Test to England by 28 runs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

Tasked with chasing down 231, India’s batters didn’t show any proactiveness with the bat and were bowled out for 202, despite some late defiance from Ravichandran Ashwin and KS Bharat. Majority of their batters fell to tame dismissals and played largely from the crease o a turning pitch as India were unable to shake off the pressure put on them by England, with debutant left-arm spinner Tom Hartley taking superb figures of 7-62.

“England were brilliant over the last two days. India were pretty ordinary. In the field, you could see that heads were dropping down while fielding. But credit to England, the way they batted, the way they came and bowled.”

“I mean Tom Hartley, debutant, first ball hit for a six and then the first five overs he was going at about seven runs an over. To come back and bat really well, take two wickets in the first innings, and seven in the second and win the match for England was absolutely fantastic.”

“England have done exceptionally well. India could certainly have been more positive in their batting approach in the second innings. Once Rohit Sharma got out and Ravindra Jadeja was run out, the course of the match changed,” said Kumble on ‘Match Centre Live’ show on JioCinema and Sports18.

Apart from Hartley, vice-captain Ollie Pope was one of the big factors in England winning the match, with his magnificent 196 in the second innings changing the complexion of the game. Owais Shah, the former England batter, credited England’s youngsters, especially Pope and Hartley, in setting up a memorable come-from-behind win for the visitors’.

“If you go back to Day 1 and Day 2, England were probably outplayed a little bit. They didn’t score in the first innings. However, on Day 3, the way they picked up wickets early, got themselves back in the game and then finally of course dominated proceedings. They won back-to-back sessions with younger guys putting their hands up.”

“The young man Pope scoring 196, and then of course the debutant Hartley, seven wickets in the second innings, won the game for England. He would have been aware that the senior spinner Jack Leach was injured and took extra responsibility and put his hands up for captain Stokes.”

One of the biggest talking points from India’s batting performance has been the struggles of Shubman Gill, who has found the going tough after moving to number three position in Tests.

At Hyderabad, Gill struggled to break free before falling for 23 in first innings and in the chase of 231, the tentative right-handed batter spooned a simple catch to short mid-off against Hartley to fall for a two-ball duck.

Former India wicketkeeper-batter Parthiv Patel thinks Gill has to change his batting mindset to find success in the second Test at Visakhapatnam, starting on February 2. “The way Shubman was batting in the first innings, he was not trying to play shots. If you don’t try to score, then bowlers at the international level won’t give you too many loose deliveries.”

“He has to show the skills to rotate the strike even if he’s not finding boundaries. He cannot make technical adjustments (ahead of the second Test) but can definitely change his mindset and approach towards batting.”

Zaheer Khan, the former India left-arm fast-bowler, feels time hasn’t arrived yet for Gill’s place in the Test team to be questioned. “He looked under pressure even in the first innings. Because of the calibre of the batsman that he is, we did not see the kind of flow from his batting that we are used to seeing in the first innings.”

“A batsman batting at No. 3 looks to build on the momentum and we did not see that. That shows he’s under some sort of pressure. So, he has to deal with it. But as of now, I don’t think that there is a question mark over his place in the side.”



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