Former cricketer Madan Lal believes that India can’t win the ongoing series against England if they middle-order continues to disappoint. This opinion of the 1983 World Cup winning all-rounder came after England pacers blew India for 78 runs in Headingley.
The trio of Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, are under heavy scrutiny as they have been under-perofming for a long time now. Since the start of last year, all three of them are averaging less than 27 – Kohli being the worst among the three – with just a solitary century – that of Rahane at the MCG – between them.
Madan Lal feels that the dismal show of the three right-handers is underpinned on the lack of big scores from Virat Kohli.
“Your middle order is not getting runs because the main batsman, Virat, is not getting runs and we expect him to get runs. And maybe you can say they have misread the conditions and other things, but there are four days left and at the end of the day middle order has to take responsibility to score runs if you want to win this series,” Madan Lal told IANS.
In Leeds, history says you lose quick wickets in the morning session: Madan Lal
Madan Lal also spoke about Virat Kohli’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss. The 70-year-old pointed out that in Leeds over the years, bowling first have been a preferred choice as the pitch helps the seamers – and it did as the English pacers extracted swing and seam movement much more than what the Indians did later in the day.
While Lal asserts that the toss doesn’t determine the result of the game, he laid out his scepticism about Kohli’s decision.
“If you look at the condition of Leeds, history says you lose quick wickets in the morning session. Virat, maybe, took a chance because England didnt score too many runs in the last Test, and you cannot say you lose the match because of the toss, you didn’t bat well at the same time.
“I think England bowled really well. There are still four days left in the game. In Leeds, what captains mostly do in these types of conditions is that when they win the toss, they opt to bowl first because in such wickets the ball swings a lot at the beginning,” the former all-rounder added.
By Lunch on Day 2, England have conjured up a lead of 104 runs. Mohammed Shami dismissed Rorry Burns (61) while Ravindra Jadeja accounted for the wicket of Haseeb Hameed (68) for his first wicket in the series.