Legendary Indian batsman VVS Laxman believes that the lack of “consistent support” from other teammates to skipper Virat Kohli was the biggest reason behind India’s defeat in the series-leveling fourth Test, as well as, Test series defeat in England.
He also said “India did several things right in Southampton”, but it was England who “seized the key moments” and won the Test series 3-1 by winning fourth Test. The Oval will host the final match to be played from September 7.
Laxman wrote in his column for Times of India, “India did several things right in Southampton as they strived for a series-levelling win in the 4th Test. But it was England that seized the key moments.”
In Southampton, India required 245 to win but were bundled out for 184 despite half-centuries from Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane and Laxman said it is “disappointing for a team that has everything it takes to be successful, away from home too.”
He also lauded Indian bowlers, who were outstanding in England, saying: “As brilliantly as the bowlers have performed, they allowed England to get out of jail in both innings of the fourth Test. England have an array of attacking talent in the lower middle order, using those resources to recover from 86/6 on the first morning and 92/4 on the third afternoon to post 246 and 271, respectively.”
He added, “This, however, is not a one-off. It happened in Birmingham when Sam Curran defied them with attractive runs, a theme that was to repeat itself at Lord’s. That’s something for the Indian think-tank to look into, because the hallmark of champion sides lies in not repeating their mistakes.”
Meanwhile, Laxman also advised India to study what led them to losing so many wickets to English spinner Moeen Ali, who bagged the Man of the Match award for his nine scalps in Southampton.
He added, “Moeen had been low on confidence after the winter tours of Australia and New Zealand. While it is commendable on his part to have capped his return with the Man-of-the-Match award, India must introspect and analyse why they have been unable to crack the Moeen mystery.”
Laxman signed off by explaining, “India have been more than competitive in a majority of their five away losses in South Africa and England in 2018, but Virat and his men will find scant consolation in that. The bowling has by and large been incisive but, in admittedly tricky conditions, the batting has been found wanting. Virat has been an overwhelming exception, and during his century stand with Ajinkya Rahane in the fourth innings, raised visions of a glorious victory in Southampton. But he needs consistent support, and that hasn’t always been forthcoming.”