5 poor decisions that cost India the series against England
As James Anderson cleaned up Mohammad Shami to become the highest wicket taker among pacers, another woeful overseas tour was concluded. Unlike previous encounters between the two sides on this turf, the series was fiercely competitive, in stark contrast to what the scoreline suggests. Except the second Test at Lord's, India had their chances in all the games, but failed to hold on to them.
The unfavorable result was largely an outcome of the lack of application and tenacity by the batsmen and barring Virat Kohli, everyone else looked ill-at-ease. At the same time, captain Kohli took some inexplicable decisions, which attracted criticism from the sporting fraternity, including some senior stalwarts.
We have a look at five such unreasonable decisions that cost India the series against England:
#1 Omitting Cheteshwar Pujara in Edgbaston
India kick started their Test tour against England at Edgbaston, eyeing the opportunity to become the first Asian country to get the better of the hosts at the venue. Cheteshwar Pujara's unsuccessful run in the county cricket was being viewed as a concern for Team India, with the Saurashtra batsman also attracting criticism for his highly defensive approach. Although Pujara's form was under continuous scrutiny, he was expected to make the cut in the squad.
What followed was a shock when captain Kohli exchanged the team sheets with his English counterpart, omitting Pujara from the squad. The result was that the batting line up failed miserably, with India being in the hunt due to the valiant, single-handed century of Virat Kohli. The batting line up failed in the second innings as well, largely down to the lack of patience and poor shot selection, failing to chase a mediocre 193.
Pujara has an ideal temperament for these conditions and can survive vicious spells of bowlers with his defensive technique. He has a good shot selection, which is complemented by the wide array of shots in his repertoire. If he had been given a chance, Pujara could have combined with Kohli to take India across the line and register a win upfront.