New Delhi: India, along with skipper Virat Kohli, will look to banish their horrors from 2014’s humiliating Test series defeat on English soil as Wednesday’s opening clash against England at Edgbaston Cricket Ground are giving them a shot at redemption.
Having taken the lead in the second of the five-match series at Lords four years ago, India spectacularly lost all of their remaining three matches, losing the last two by an innings, to end up conceding the series 1-3.
The Indian team were made a laughing stock, with questions being raised about their ability to challenge heavyweights outside the subcontinent.
One of the highlights of that series was Kohli’s failures to cope with the lateral movement of the red ball, a skill expertly honed by the English bowling attacks spearheads James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
In ten innings he played in 2014, Kohli scored a mere 126 runs, falling prey to Anderson and Broad five times.
This time around, however, Kohli is not as focused on his performances with the willow as he is on the team’s success. Or at least that is what he has been telling the media.
The fact that he wanted a stint in county cricket, which eventually did not materialize, exhibits his want to adapt to the English conditions and prevail over the five-match series. However, he did get a chance to adapt to the English conditions with the T20I and the One Day International (ODI) series held before the all-important Tests.
Having gained some momentum from the victory in the T20I series and the considerable challenge they mounted in the ODIs, India will be set to prove their doubters wrong and spoil England’s 1000th Test match party with a victory in the first Test of the five-match series in Edgbaston.
From getting the correct opening pair on the pitch to negotiate the threat of Broad and Anderson, the middle order to build a solid innings, the pacers to rattle the English openers, to the combination of spin and pace, everything needs to be scrutinized thoroughly.
India have been handed a few setbacks, with pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar missing the first Test due to their respective injuries.
Regardless, having excelled everywhere else, Kohli will not only look to address the one aspect of his exceptional batting which has so far been found wanting, he will also be setting his eyes on becoming the exceptional leader which he will become by toppling a formidable England in home conditions. (ANI)