Inzamam-ul-Haq
Inzamam-ul-Haq (Image Credit: Getty)

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq criticised team India’s senior players for not helping the team with their experience and appreciated young players for playing the important role.

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.

In the second Test at Lord’s, Pujara along with Ajinkya Rahane had revived India’s innings after the top-order collapsed. Pujara and Rahane were also instrumental in India’s historic series win in Australia, where the limelight was more on wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant for his flamboyant batting show.

Pujara founded his form back in the second innings as he shifted his defensive approach and got important runs for the team. However, the Saurashtra batsman could not add to his overnight score of 91 on Day 3 and missed his 19th Test hundred after he was trapped before the wicket by Ollie Robinson.

Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, India vs England 2021 Headingley
England vs India, 2021, Headingley. (Photo: Twitter)

Youngsters have been bailing the team out of difficult situations in recent times: Inzamam-ul-Haq

The former Pakistan captain seemed unhappy with the senior players’ performance and appreciated all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who has scored some crucial runs lower down the order.

“If you look at Team India’s batters, Virat Kohli hasn’t scored a hundred in nearly two years. The case is the same with Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane is also struggling. Youngsters have been bailing the team out of difficult situations in recent times.

“Rishabh Pant scored a lot of runs, Ravindra Jadeja also contributed and Ashwin as well. The young guns have contributed a lot more in comparison to the experienced guys,” Inzamam said on his YouTube channel. 

“In big series’, if Team India’s experienced players don’t lead from the front, then they are bound to find themselves in trouble. I have been observing India’s performance from Australia. They have played some very good Test cricket. They have won series’ away from home in tough conditions. But the major role in these wins was played by the young players,” he added. 

If Team India’s younger players are constantly put under pressure, they too will struggle: Inzamam-ul-Haq

Indian skipper Virat Kohli is heavily criticised for not scoring a hundred for nearly two years and in the ongoing Test series, he is struggling to counter the outswingers posed by James Anderson and Robinson. Kohli made his first half-century in the second innings in Leeds, but he could not stay on the crease for a long time as he once again poked to Joe Root in the slip region off Robinson’s bowling.

Inzamam feels that if experienced players do not step up then the youngsters will automatically come under pressure and struggle with their form as well.

James Anderson, Virat Kohli
James Anderson after picking up Virat Kohli’s wicket. (Image: Twitter)

“Virat is the No. 1 player in the world, Pujara and Rahane are very good Test players. But if there is such a big gap between their big scores or hundreds, the youngsters are bound to come under pressure.

“The young players have been doing well but the experienced ones must lead the way. If Team India’s younger players are constantly put under pressure, they too will struggle. This is exactly what is happening in England,” Inzamam commented.

England levelled the five-match Test series 1-1 and will head to Kennington Oval in London to play the fourth Test against India, starting on September 2.

Also Read: If India Wins The First Day Of The Oval Test, They Will Come Back Into The Series: Michael Vaughan