INDIA TOUR OF ENGLAND, 2018
As a group we have to be more compassionate when we start a series and in the beginning are a bit more expressive and fearless: Kohli © Getty
Would England have been more vulnerable? Their openers were in the midst of a crisis. Their captain has seemingly forgotten how to score one hundred after being 13 in August 2017. The middle order had a number four that has never played there before. An all-rounder who was not fit for bowling. And a non-regular & # 39; goalkeeper-batsman in a relatively new position. Their bowlers did not have a big pace, and their spinners were a far cry from the world beaters of India.
Can India have become stronger? They first entered Virat Kohli with an unchanged side for the first time. Their openers had found some rhythm. Their numbers 3 and 5 had found form, and wedged in between, their captain was in the shape of his life. They had an attacking goalkeeper and two all-rounders who knew their roles well. Their bowlers had more pace and the English defeated, all in Nottingham.
To begin with, India and England played on a pitch in the visitors' alley – hard, dry and full of spin.
Despite this, India fell into a 60-point defeat in Southampton to give up the series 1-3 with one game. This is a team that repeated its wish to be the best traveling team in the world, but to do so, India has to tick two more boxes. And as it is, they are the cliches that they regularly use that they do not adhere to.
CLICHE 1: BETTER BEGINNING
In both South Africa and now in England, India has shown that they are getting better as the series progresses. But the team can not afford to come into any series with a shortage to come back. The most important characteristic of every great team is to mark their authority from the very beginning. And India, with their minds set on imitating the great, must make sure that they do the same.
In Edgbaston, India left a golden opportunity; in Lord & # 39; s, they were blown away, and it was not until Nottingham that they really went home. But by this time they had already put themselves under enormous pressure. They could not leave anything to chance – a catch, a bad blow or a bad spell. With the series on the line, everything had to be perfect and for three games in a row in extraterrestrial circumstances it is almost impossible to do so.
Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, realized how important it is to start well and said that the team will discuss the problem and hopefully solve it.
"As a group we have to be more compassionate when we start a series and in the beginning are more expressive and fearless," Kohli said. "Especially a long series, because, as I said at the beginning of the series, you have time to come back, but you want to come back if you've played fearless cricket and do not want to catch up too much. as a team to discuss, how we start well and do not have to fight again and again because I think we do not have to prove to anyone that we have the possibility. "
CLICHE 2: KEY MOMENTS GRAIN
In Edgbaston, India left the game after having hit England with 87/7 in the second inning. From watching the haunting around 120, India Sam Curran had a counter attack and ended almost 200 after. They were 31 short.
In Southampton, India had topped three consecutive days. They had England on 86/6 before they finally scored 246. They themselves were well placed at 142/2, before they collapsed to 273. And finally they had England again at 178/6, before the last four scored almost 100 points.
It is almost inconceivable that the number one team in the world offers a team three opportunities in three days to make a comeback. It was not that they were undone by insane performances. They abandoned themselves by giving away their wickets if they were in a great position, while with their ball their main bowler did not deliver the kind of performance that was expected of him.
If India continues to give their hosts regular opportunities to fight back, they will see more often than not that quality players take them with both hands.
Kohli is also aware of this problem.
"We have talked about this, that even during the race if we are in a driving position, we should be able to respond and not let the opposition come in and have to fight again and again. Nottingham we did that, for three days we were relentless and we are at the top. "
CLICHE 3: CROSS THE FINISH LINE
It may have the marking of a closely fought contest, but nothing is more important than the result of cricket. Twice in four games, India has not been able to close the games that were within reach. Agreed that the circumstances were not easy. They are rare when you pursue a decent goal in the fourth inning, but that is exactly what sets the great teams apart from the rest.
In Edgbaston, who chased less than 200, only one batsman – Kohli – made more than fifty. On Sunday, after 245 chase, only two did. India can not continue to rely on a spectacular inning from a player to push them over the line. They have players capable of doing that, but such versions are special for a special reason – they are extremely rare and extremely difficult.
Whether it is about closing a game or an inning, India will need more people to stand up and perform, then maybe we can make India easier to pursue.
"We can look at the scoreboard and say that we are only running 30 points or 50 points, but we have to admit that when we are in the middle of the situation and not later, we know we have played good cricket, but we can not go over and over again. say to ourselves that we have fought, when you get so close, there is also an art to cross the border, what we will have to learn, we have the ability, and therefore we come close to a result, and we have faith in that ability, but when a pressure situation comes, how we react to it … is something we have to work on, and everyone is ready to work on that, "Kohli said.
CLICHE 4: WIN THE TOSS
This is the only one that is not managed by the team. But it would not be a bad thing to win more tosses and set the match in the right tone.
India may have set dizzying targets and emphasizes that they want to win overseas, but unless they get the basics right, success may turn out to be a bit far away.