AUS v IND 2018-19: Ganguly critical of Indian openers' poor performance in Perth

Both Murali Vijay and KL Rahul failed when India desperately needed a good start on Day 2.

Vijay got out for a duck facing Mitchell Starc | Getty

Former skipper Sourav Ganguly lashed out at Indian openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul for getting out playing extravagant shots and not trusting their defence enough on Day 2 in response to Australia's 326 in the first innings of the second Test at Perth.

Vijay got bowled out for a 12-ball duck by Mitchell Starc with KL Rahul soon following suit for just 2 against Josh Hazlewood, as India found themselves struggling big time at 8/2. There seems to be no confidence inspired by India's opening batsmen these days and it's a genuine worry.

"As an opener, you cannot play such shots outside the sub-continent. In Murali's all three dismissals, he tried to play the drive shots against the new ball," Ganguly told IndiaTV, "You're supposed to play defensively. You cannot just play cover drives with the new ball."

"Murali doesn't have much time on his hands because he didn't perform well in England, now here after three innings, you haven't scored runs. He (Murali) has to be very careful."

"Rahul needs to learn from Kohli on how to play with the new ball. If you're born to be an opener then you have to play. You have to play defensively with the new ball around," he added.

Meanwhile, Ganguly also lavished praise over captain Virat Kohli for leading from the front with his magnificent 82* that helped India recover to 172/3 at the end of play on Day 2. It was an outstanding effort in tough conditions.

The 46-year-old said, "He's (Kohli) is an all-time great, in India and in the world and before this when they lost the openers and Virat came to bat, it felt like the wicket was different and the bowling as well."

"That gave Pujara and Rahane confidence to bat. You see Virat and say that he has scored everywhere in the world, but on this pitch, with this Australia's attack, it's very rare to see such fine innings being played," he signed off.


By Kashish Chadha - 16 Dec, 2018

    Share Via