Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has reckoned that while the home side did not commit a massive blunder with regards to their tactics in the first Test, he feels that some of Virat Kohli’s on-field tactics left a lot to be desired.
After having registered a memorable series win in Australia last month, Team India was given a rude awakening by the Joe Root-led England in the series-opener in Chennai as they suffered their first defeat on home soil after a gap of 4 years.
The 227-run hammering is India’s 4th successive Test defeat under the leadership of Virat Kohli and following the loss, a lot of questions have been posted on the Kohli-led team-management’s selection of playing 11 and the skipper’s on-field tactics.
However, Manjrekar feels that there were no issues in Team India’s decision to play Shahbaz Nadeem ahead of Kuldeep Yadav. He further added that the pitch was tailor-made for someone like Shahbaz Nadeem and that everyone is talking about Kuldeep just because the former did not bowl well.
“I wouldn’t say India had bad tactics or they blundered on tactics. Team selection I think was fair. People are talking about Kuldeep Yadav now because Shahbaz Nadeem hasn’t bowled well. This was a tailor-made pitch for him,” Sanjay Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
The cricketer-turned commentator, however, questioned some of Virat Kohli’s field placements, especially for someone like Washington Sundar, who he felt bowled the wrong line. Manjrekar also questioned Virat Kohli’s field placements for Shahbaz Nadeem.
“Tactically, the small parts of the game where Washington Sundar I think bowled the wrong line, to begin with. He is a great guy to bowl outside off stump and when he did that, it troubled the opposition batsmen. That’s where Virat Kohli is a little hard to understand, with his overall strategy and team selection,” Manjrekar added.
“His first few overs (Nadeem), he had two people on the drive. Maybe the bowlers weren’t allowed to begin with to bowl to the field that he wanted,” he said.
However, Sanjay Manjrekar reckoned that more than tactics, India were undone by an English unit which proved to be tactically superior to them.
“But more than tactics, India’s ability in this match fell short and they would want to make amends in the second Test. Tactically, England was superior but I won’t say that India blundered tactically,” Manjrekar added.