Team India’s batters were too tentative, were probably thinking of just playing out new ball: Maninder Singh

Cheteshwar Pujara fell without adding to his overnight score of 91. Pic: Getty Images
Cheteshwar Pujara fell without adding to his overnight score of 91. Pic: Getty Images
Renin Wilben Albert

Former left-arm spinner Maninder Singh reckons that Team India’s batters were very tentative on Day 4 at Headingley, which led to their downfall. According to the former player, the batsmen were preoccupied with thoughts of seeing off the new ball.

Resuming their innings on 215 for 2, Team India crumbled inexplicably on Day 4 to get bowled out for 278 within the first session of play. With the win, England levelled the five-match series with a crushing innings and 76 runs victory.

In an interaction on ESPN Cricinfo, Maninder Singh opined that Team India’s approach on Day 4 was a rather unsettled one. He explained in this regard:

“I thought Team India’s batsmen were a little too tentative. Probably, they had it in their minds that we have just got to see the new ball off and play out the first hour. They looked a bit tentative. The way Rahane got out, if you see Cheteshwar Pujara, he was a little tentative as well."
"That goes to show that when they must have had their team meeting yesterday, they must have talked about getting the first hour over and done with. They must have thought, when the ball gets older, we can sort them out like we did yesterday and then go on to play the whole day.”

The 56-year-old former player, though, praised England’s bowlers for putting Team India’s batters under pressure right from the start, adding:

“I would give a lot of credit to the England bowlers, the way they bowled. Early in the morning, there is some moisture, and they took full advantage of it. They made the new ball count. Also, this win will give Joe Root and his boys a lot of confidence going into the next Test match because Jimmy Anderson didn't get a lot of wickets. Ollie Robinson and Craig Overton got wickets.”

Pressure was outstanding from England bowlers: Team India captain Virat Kohli

Following Team India’s capitulation on Day 4 of the Headingley Test, captain Virat Kohli credited England bowlers for forcing the Indian batters to make mistakes by creating a lot of pressure.

Speaking at the post-match conference, Kohli said about Team India’s stunning batting collapse:

"Basically, it was down to scoreboard pressure. You're always up against it when you get out for under 80, and the opposition puts up such a big score. But we did well to stay in the game yesterday, fight back as much as we could, and gave ourselves a chance. But the pressure today was outstanding from the England bowlers, and eventually they got the results they wanted.”

With the victory, England levelled the series 1-1 ahead of the fourth Test at The Oval, starting September 2.

Edited by Bhargav


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