Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra pointed at Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli’s runs as an optimistic sign for India. On Saturday, India lost to England by an innings and 76 runs after they were bowled out for 278 in the first session itself.
Despite showing a promising comeback on Day 3, India’s set batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli were dismissed by Ollie Robinson and thereafter the visitors skittled down with the lower-middle order and tailenders soon followed the senior batters to the dugout.
You got important runs from Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli: Aakash Chopra
Pujara (91) and Kohli (55) were unbeaten on Day 3 in their 99-run stand but the former couldn’t add a single run to his overnight score and thus he missed his 19th Test hundred. Both the batsman fell to England pacer Ollie Robinson in the first hour of the day.
After Pujara and Kohli’s dismissals, India’s lower-order and tail-enders failed to score and their innings skittled down inside the first session as England levelled the Test series 1-1.
If one analyses the match from India’s point of view and focus on the good sights of the match, then Chopra is that person who feels Kohli and Pujara’s knocks were resilient and should be a good thing for the Indian team.
“Of course, it is a crushing loss. When you lose by an innings and more runs, you know you have been completely outplayed but you are not looking at wholesale changes. In the first innings, you were dismissed for 78 and in the second innings if you had hypothetically folded for 150, then it would have been catastrophic,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
“Now you have batted the entire third day, of course, it would have been better if you had batted a little better on the fourth day. You got important runs from Cheteshwar Pujara and the way he played, Virat Kohli got his first half-century. These are two very important elements that I feel will be in India’s favour,” he added.
Only Ishant Sharma’s performance has slightly gone down: Aakash Chopra
Ahead of the third Test, Ravindra Jadeja was wicketless in his four innings and in England’s lone innings he got the important breakthrough by cleaning the stumps of opener Haseeb Hameed and later in the day got the better of his counterpart Moeen Ali.
Rohit Sharma, who was criticised for playing the pull shot and getting out for it, played more defensively as he scored 59 from 156 balls in the second innings.
Chopra said apart from Ishant Sharma, everyone at the individual level were showing improvement with their performances and one bad game shouldn’t bother the team.
“Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets and scored a few runs as well. He has been continuously doing that. Rohit Sharma is continuing in that same form. Only Ishant Sharma’s performance has gone slightly down, the rest of them have done decently well.”
“Rahul’s form is not a concern as he has come after scoring runs, one match can go bad. Pujara, Kohli, Rohit – everyone has scored runs.”
India will play the fourth Test against England at Kennington Oval on September 2.