Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly believes India would win the ongoing Birmingham Test if other batsmen start scoring runs and take the pressure off Virat Kohli.
There is little doubt that Kohli is the man standing between England and a win. In the first inning, the hosts had the visitors reeling at 100 for 5 after scoring 287. However, Kohli played one of his finest Test knocks, scoring a majestic 149 to help his side recover and put up 274.
Kohli is turning out to be thorn in the flesh for the hosts in the second innings too.
As many as 14 wickets fell on the third day as England collapsed to 87-7 in their second innings. But a 65-ball 63 runs knock from Sam Curran helped England recover and post 180 to set India a target of 194.
In reply, India, just like the first innings, kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. They were 5 down for just 78. But just like the first innings, Kohli held firm from one end to keep his side in contention. The skipper ended the day on 43 not out and had Dinesh Karthik as company. India ended the day on 110 for 5, needing 84 runs more to take the lead in the series.
That India are still in the game is mainly because of their skipper and Ganguly definitely agrees to it. The legendary skipper lavished praise on Kohli and said that the other batsmen should start scoring.
“Kohli’s innings of 149 has kept India in the hunt in Birmingham. He not only scored a ton but also helped India reduce the deficit to just 13 runs. Virat has kept India alive in the game. Lot of responsibility will again be there on Virat but other batsmen too need to make runs,” Ganguly told IndiaTV.
That India only has 194 runs to chase is also because of their bowlers’ effort. In the second innings, the visitors bowled out the hosts for just 180. Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin starred with the ball by picking up 5 and 3 wickets respectively.
Ganguly praised the bowlers, saying:
“Indian bowlers also played a major role on day three and took the team to a good position where they can now win the match.”
“There are seven left-handers in the England team and that is why R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma has caused problems for them. When Ishant bowls over the wicket, he creates problems for left-handers.
“Probably, this is the first time I have seen Ashwin bowl so well in England. He has got a lot of variations in his bowling,” Ganguly added.