Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has openly criticised India's batting, either side of Virat Kohli, during the first Test in England and has said that the others will have to pull their socks as soon as possible and support the Indian skipper for the rest of the series.
Sourav is absolutely right here, and while India's best batsman, Kohli aggregated 200 runs in the game, the next best score was 31 from Hardik Pandya in the second innings and it was the biggest reason for India's 31-run loss.
After the match, Sourav was quoted saying, "If you have to win a Test then everyone has to score runs. The other batsmen have to score hundreds as well. Virat played very well otherwise India would have been out of the match on the second day itself, This was the first Test in a five-match series and I think this team has the capability to come back and play well. Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay will have to show some determination since they have scored runs in these conditions before."
He also believes that there should not be any blame on Virat Kohli as a captain for this loss and said, "I don't think the captain is responsible for the loss. If you are the captain then you will be criticised for a loss the same way as you are congratulated for a win. One criticism for Kohli is that he should give a consistent run to his batters and more time before dropping them,"
"Dada" as he is fondly called, further pointed out, "You can't be excused all the time and we have lost before in 2011 and 2014. You have to bat well. It's a very well known fact that the ball will swing in England the same way as Australia is known for its pacy wickets. So if previously you have scored runs there is no reason you can't now,"
Speaking of India's chances of leveling the series at Lord's Ganguly said: "The captain should give confidence to his players. It's his team and he only can change their mindset. He will have to sit with them and tell them that if he can do it so can they. He should give them time and tell them to go out and play without any fear. It is true that after continuous chopping and changing of the playing XI, players can get afraid that after all these years they have failed to garner the faith of the team management."
(Inputs from India TV)