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He's a little hard to understand: Sanjay Manjrekar scrutinizes Virat Kohli's captaincy after Chennai loss

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli
Anurag Bansal
Modified 11 Feb 2021

Following India's loss to England in the first Test, Sanjay Manjrekar reckons Virat Kohli is a "little hard to understand" when it comes to his overall strategy and team selection.

Manjrekar is of the opinion that the hosts didn't make any tactical blunders in Chennai and even backed the team selection. The former batsman was also okay with Shahbaz Nadeem playing instead of Kuldeep Yadav.

Manjrekar, however, feels that Virat Kohli's way of managing the bowlers was not up to the mark. He cited the example of Washington Sundar initially bowling the wrong line before getting it right.

During his interaction with ESPNCricinfo, Manjrekar said:

"I wouldn't say India had bad tactics or they blundered on tactics. Team selection I think was fair. People are talking about Kuldeep Yadav now because Shahbaz Nadeem hasn't bowled well. This was a tailor-made pitch for him. Tactically, the small parts of the game where Washington Sundar I think bowled the wrong line to begin with. He is a great guy to bowl outside off stump and when he did that, it troubled the opposition batsmen. That's where Virat Kohli is a little hard to understand, with his overall strategy and team selection,"

During an interaction with the media after his side's 227-run defeat, Virat Kohli asserted that although England played extremely well, it is wrong to assume that the visitors are better prepared than India for the Test series.

Manjrekar believes Virat Kohli could have been more proactive in Nadeem's case

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

Manjrekar believes Virat Kohli could have been a bit more cautious and proactive when it came to Nadeem. The left-arm spinner didn't have the best of outings at Chepauk.


Despite managing to pick up four wickets, Nadeem's performance was sub-par, given the nature of the Chepauk pitch. Putting Nadeem's display into perspective, his England counterpart, Jack Leach, picked up six wickets, including four in India's second innings.

"His first few overs, he had two people on the drive. Maybe the bowlers weren't allowed to begin with to bowl to the field that he wanted. But more than tactics, India's ability in this match fell short and they would want to make amends in the second Test. Tactically, England were superior but I won't say that India blundered tactically," Manjrekar said.

The loss at Chepauk was India's fourth straight Test defeat under Virat Kohli. It also happened to be the hosts' first loss at the venue since 1999.

Published 11 Feb 2021, 11:52 IST
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