Mohammad Azharuddin, former Indian captain, has questioned the support staff’s role after the debatable batting performance by the Indian batsmen in the Southampton Test, especially in the second innings.
Besides Captain Virat Kohli, who has scored in excess of 500 runs across eight innings in the Test series so far, none of the other batsmen looked comfortable against the England bowlers.
In Southampton, India were bowled out for 184 while chasing 245 which handed a 3-1 series-clinching victory to England with the final Test match still to be played.
Azharuddin has also criticised the Indian top order, who have found themselves at sea when the conditions have been swing-friendly, for their failure to adjust to the English conditions.
As per reports in Times of India, Azharuddin said, “We lost the series because of poor batting and our batsmen were committing the same mistakes throughout. What is our coaching staff doing?”
He further went on to explain, “Technically, our batsmen were found wanting. We didn’t play the moving ball well. We can’t depend only on Virat Kohli. Openers like Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul too didn’t get runs. The middle-order was left with too much to do. We should have taken at least a 100-run lead after Cheteshwar Pujara’s hundred [in the fourth Test].”
Meanwhile, there was not even a little support from other batsmen; apart from Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli to the Indian bowlers, who have been fantastic so far for India.
Azhar, who played 99 Tests in his 15-yearlong career, added, “We could have done better. This was our best chance to win the series because we had the best bowling attack and in every game they got those 20 wickets and gave our team a chance to throttle the opposition.”
He signed off by saying, “I can’t say if there was any selection error or not because I wasn’t there to see what prompted the India team management to make those changes. But the entire batting unit didn’t respond well to the challenges. I have to compliment the way Kohli batted throughout the series. But it boils down to one thing. It’s a team game and all the other batsmen need to complement their captain.”