India's opening woes persist
Playing the new ball has never been easy. Even the greatest openers to have ever played the game have had their fair share of struggles. The Duke ball in those conditions is a bowler's best friend. But despite keeping all these factors in mind, openers from both the side performed way below expectations.
Even the England openers, Keaton Jennings & Alastair Cook looked highly uncomfortable apart from the last game when Cook scored a match-winning ton to sign off with a win. A lot of credit here has to go to the Indian fast bowlers for bowling exceptionally well and not giving the England openers too many loose balls. All three of them showed that on current form, they would have got most batsmen in the world out. With Cook now retired and Jennings having more than just a couple of issues with his batting, even England aren't in a place with regards to their openers.
Talking about the Indian openers, they were struggling even in South Africa. Both Dhawan and Vijay had an unfruitful tour of the Rainbow Nation where Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel kept troubling them . With the ball moving much more than it did in SA, this was always on the cards.
Vijay now looks like a pale shadow of his 2014 self wherein he scored runs everywhere he went. Dhawan, on the other hand, finds it very difficult when the pitch is playing tricks. Although he did make a few adjustments to his technique that really didn't make much of a difference. There are few better bowlers to exploit these technical deficiencies than the legendary pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
Kl Rahul then took over permanently from Vijay for the rest of the series, starting from the third Test but even he was consistently in trouble against the ball that came into him. However, the last innings of the tour, wherein he almost won the game for India seems to have saved his position in the side for the time being. His partner though (Dhawan) looks certain to be dropped.
With the England tour done and dusted, India's opening woes remain.