India’s batting lineup failed again as England beat the visitors in the first England vs India Test to go one nil up in the five-match series.
Barring Virat Kohli, none of the other Indian batsmen could make their mark. On the other hand, the bowlers did a brilliant job. In the first innings, they bowled out the hosts for just 287. In reply, India scored 274 thanks to Kohli’s splendid 149. In the second innings, the bowlers did even better by folding up England for just 180. However, the batsmen failed to put up a fight once again. While Kohli scored a fighting 51, the others around him failed as India lost the game by 31 runs.
So ahead of the second Test, we take a look at some players who failed to live up to the expectations and turned villains from hero:
Vijay’s inception has given extra reinforcement to India’s stalwart batting order. Since the Australia series at home in 2013, Vijay had scored runs in almost all the series. Two successive big tons versus Australia, followed by a gritty knock at Durban, a big 146 at Nottingham in 2014 and some useful small knocks in the same series against England, again few fifties and a 144 in Australia made him India’s most dependable opener after the departure of Sehwag. He plays as the second fiddle early on, taking his time to settle down. His ploy helps the team to see off the dangerous new ball.
Something similar was expected from him in the first Test. The team would have definitely wanted a solid start from their reliable opener. However, the right-hander failed miserably, scoring 20 and 6. As a result, the team was off to a poor start in both the innings.
Rahul made it to the playing eleven ahead of the more experienced Cheteshwar Pujara. The right-hander got the chance because of his recent impressive showing. He had enjoyed a stunning IPL with the bat and followed it up with a fifty and a century in T20Is against Ireland and England respectively.
Selecting Rahul ahead of Pujara was a gamble and it backfired miserably. While in the second innings, Rahul could do very little do against a stunning delivery from Ben Stokes, he fell to a poor shot in the first essay. The right-handed batsman, facing only his second delivery, went chasing wide outside his off stump and played on. He could score only 4 and 13 in the first and second innings respectively.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment from the first game was Ajinkya Rahane’s poor show with the bat. Not very long ago, Rahane was India’s most dependable batsmen in overseas Tests. Centuries in England, New Zealand and South Africa in the last few years pretty much proves how good he has been.
However, India’s Test vice-captain is going through a lean patch for quite some time now and the form continued in Birmingham too. In both the innings, he played unchararactertics shot to fall for 15 and 2. The performance further deteriorated his already diminishing image. Rahane would be desperate to get back to his best as soon as possible.