The World Test Championship final has become all the more suspenseful after India’s emphatic loss to England in the 1st test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. England won the toss and it seemed as if nothing went India’s way since then. Joe Root was adjudged man of the match for his epic 218 and 40 that completely took the game away from the hosts. This is England’s 6th consecutive victory away from home and 9th victory for Joe Root as English test Captain. He is yet to lose a test match as skipper of the England Cricket team.
The second test begins on the 13th of Feb but before that India needs to look at certain concerns that were very much visible in the 1st India vs England test.
Kuldeep’s Exclusion & Shahbaz Last-Minute Call-Up
A heartbroken Kuldeep Yadav was yet again seen warming the bench in the 1st test even after Axar Patel got injured at the very last moment. As explained by Virat Kohli in the post-match conference, “Kuldeep is no different than Ashwin & Washi who turn the ball into the right-hander, so when you are selecting players you need to see who can spin the ball away and that is why we went for Shahbaz over Kuldeep.” Kuldeep took a fif-er the last time he played a test and was supposed to be India’s next big thing in terms of test match bowling. Had he been there, who knows what difference could he have made especially after Nadeem & Washi missed out with the ball.
Rohit & Ajinkya struggle With the Bat
Blame it on the track or the exceptional English fielding, Rahane & Rohit both missed out in the game after having played well in Australia. Rohit was caught behind after a peach of a delivery from Archer while Jack Leach left him outfoxed with a great turner that just left his bat and took his off stump on the way. Rahane on the other hand was picked by a blinder from Joe Root in the covers while Anderson uprooted his off stump away from the ground in the 2nd innings. If India have to do well in this tour, these 2 batters need to find form as soon as possible.
Bess, Leach & Anderson Ask Important Questions
An inexperienced spin bowling line up that consists of Dom Bess & Jack Leach caused more problems than India’s bowling line up. This was a major difference between the two sides considering the track was literally a road for both teams apiece but it was the English bowlers that put the ball in the right areas. Even Kohli’s wicket off Bess’s delivery was an absolute beauty that completely left the Indian Captain confused in the process and was caught in a bat-pad position. Anderson’s reverse swing cleaned up Gill & Jinks in duplicate fashion while Rishabh Pant gave away his leading edge as well. Jack Leach, on the other hand, had only nightmares against Pant but otherwise, he was spot on and took away the most important wickets of Pujara, Rohit & even Ashwin who looked brilliant with the bat in the 1st innings.
Joe Root’s Domination
India had absolutely no answers to Joe Root’s onslaught in both innings where he completely dominated the spinners and pacers equally. One of the biggest contenders from the big 4, Joe is having a dream run this year after having scored 3 centuries in back to back test matches. He scored a double hundred in the recently concluded game which happened to be his 100th test match. The Indian bowling unit needs to go back and rethink their strategy for the English skipper and make him uncomfortable and work hard for runs. One of the best sweepers in world cricket needs to be asked questions, or else England might just end up this tour with a clean sweep.
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