ENG v IND 2018: Indian players not pleased with Kohli-Shastri’s chop and change policy

In his 39 Tests as a captain, Virat has gone with the unchanged playing XI only once.

The combination of Kohli and Shastri is yet to deliver positive results in overseas Test series | Getty

There were plenty of hopes from the Virat Kohli led Indian Test team as they embarked on their England tour after winning 9 of their last 10 series. However, the numero uno Test side couldn’t quite prove their mettle on English soil as they conceded an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-Test series.

It is India’s second successive overseas Test series loss under Kohli’s captaincy after the 2-1 series defeat in South Africa earlier this year. Although Virat is doing exceptionally well as a batsman, scoring over 500 runs in the current series, his captaincy has often been questioned by the cricket fans and experts.

In particular, Kohli and the Indian team management receive the flak for their chop and change policy. In his 39 Tests as a captain, Virat has gone with the unchanged playing XI only once. The constant chopping and changing has certainly created a room of self-doubt among the team members.

“It would have been better if they had said at the start of the tour, ‘guys, we will go with the same team for the first three Tests. Do your best.’ That gives a different kind of confidence. Kohli is a good man and wants the best for the team and doesn’t mean to create it but the changes make you doubt yourself. It’s our mistake to feel like that probably but we are humans,” a Team India player anonymously quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

Another cricketer pointed out how the insecurity eventually ends up increasing the burden.

“You start to second guess. Kyun aisey kar rahe hain? You then start feeling you are on your own here,” he said.

Although India’s bowling attack have done well to take 20 English wickets in three out of the four Tests, one squad member feels bowling preparations could have been more methodical.

“Before the start of the series, it was clear to me that England’s lower-middle order is its strength. You might get their top out but they will fight later. In nearly every game, we let the lower-middle order to score. I got the feeling that when we took the first four wickets cheaply, there was a feeling as if the job was over. We had crushed them. Bit more discipline and proper planning and focus would have been better,” the team member explained.

India will be playing for pride in the fifth and final Test, starting on Friday (September 7) at The Oval. It would be interesting to see how India’s think tank respond to the defeat in the fourth Test.


By Salman Anjum - 06 Sep, 2018

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