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IND vs ENG | Wouldn’t call it a good pitch but it made for exciting cricket, opines Joe Root
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Following a shambolic loss, Joe Root opined that he wouldn’t call the Chennai pitch for the second Test as a ‘good’ pitch but insisted that it made for exciting cricket. He also admitted that it is a learning experience for the visitors to look at India and bat for long periods of time. After cruising past the hosts India in the first Test, where Joe Root led by example, England were looking to keep their momentum up for the second Test, at the same venue. However, right from the toss, everything went awry as they lost the toss and were made to bowl on a relatively flatter wicket. Eventually, that combined with their first innings batting display took the game away from the visitors, who ended up chasing the game from the second day. The visitors subsequently succumbed to a 317-run loss, during which the conditions in Chennai was a major part of the debate. Joe Root opined that he wouldn’t call it a good pitch but reckoned that the pitch did make for exciting cricket between the two teams. "It's very alien to what a lot of English guys will have experienced before, as are green seamers that you might across in the UK. Do I think it was a good pitch? I wouldn't say it was a good pitch, but it made for very exciting cricket,” said Root, reported ESPNCricinfo. "I do think that the toss was an important one to win but it wouldn't have guaranteed us to win the game either. India showed that you can score runs on it and found a way of managing a very tricky surface so we've got to learn from that,” he added.Despite the tricky surface, India through their two innings - showed England how to bat, scoring 614 runs. Root stated that it was something that the visitors would have to learn from and added that they needed bat for long periods of time like the hosts. "How they (India) didn't get away from their game plan, how they knew exactly the way they were going to score their runs. How they managed to bat at the other end for long periods of time.”"And as a batting group, how does that look for us individually? How I am going to manage these big turning deliveries and how am I going to stay really calm and clear under pressure? We've got to take bits from it and add it to our own games, and come back better for it as well," he added.However, next up for the visitors would be a day-night clash in Ahmedabad, where Root has his sights on, insisting that the break will help them regain momentum. "Day-night cricket offers something different again, so we are very much looking forward to that. We'll have a little bit of a break now to refresh and have a look at a few things, but it's exciting times.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Haven’t seen the English team complain about the pitch or conditions, reckons Ravichandran Ashwin
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Following the second day’s play, Ravichandran Ashwin has reckoned that he hasn’t seen the English team complain about the pitch or the conditions on offer. He also added that it required incredible patience and skills to be playing on turning wickets, just like it does take on seaming wickets.On a day where wickets fell in plenty, the pitch and the conditions were under immense scrutiny by the English fans and the media. The ball started turning square, starting from the first over of the day, till the last over, where it was gripping and bouncing off the cracks. While the English team were bowled out for 134, the Indians lead by 249 runs with nine wickets in hand, going into day three. Indian off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin, who picked up his 29th 5-fer in Test cricket, stated that he hasn’t seen the English team complain about the pitch or the conditions. However, he also insisted that facing someone bowling 140 clicks is more challenging than facing someone bowling at 85-90 clicks. “I have no idea if they (English team) have complaints about the pitches. It is usual and normal, in the seven days, they (England) have performed really well and played really well. I haven’t seen them complaining or anything. Time and again, there are conditions where the wickets will challenge, be it spin or seam. It is more challenging to actually face 140 kph than someone bowling 85 or 90 kph when the ball is spinning. The challenges are way greater than when you come up against spin,” said Ashwin in the online presser. He also reckoned that just like seaming wicket, batsmen need to show a great level of patience and skillset to get past the challenge. The off-spinner also insisted that the benchmark to face seam and spin should be set on the same level. “I think it is about being very patient, like you are playing on a seaming wicket, where you have to keep going at it and put runs on board. When it comes to spin, people expect conditions to be in their favour. But when it comes to a seaming wicket, you can’t play all your shots. The same kind of benchmarks needs to be set if you are playing on spinning conditions as well.”On his record of getting left-handers out, he revealed that it is a massive advantage for him to get the ball to turn away from the stumps. Alongside that, he also opened up that he’s learnt better, to vary the seam position and make maximum use of the pitch on offer. “I can’t really remember how it all started (Getting left-handers out). Obviously, the ball turning away from the left-hander was a big advantage for me. Over the years, the left-hand batsmen have received bowling from around the stumps. So, one thing that I have learnt better and started using more, varying the seam position. I have tried to use the crease, going wide off and trying to get the ball to spin. Over the stumps is something that I have used well in the last six months.”The Tamil Nadu off-spinner also admitted that the wearing of the SG ball in the first Test could have been because of the conditions on offer, with the hard surface. However, in this Test, he reckoned that there was a massive difference in terms of the ball’s condition, after day’s play. “Whenever you talk about it, my talks would go back to the domestic cricket days, where it was nice. That’s the expectation that you have of the SG ball, you had a benchmark and it would always be compared to that. To be honest, from the last game to this game, there was a massive difference. The pitch wasn’t as hard as the last game, so that might have helped.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | England need ‘something amazing’ to avoid defeat against India, believes Graham Thorpe
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England batting coach Graham Thorpe has stated that the visitors need to bat extremely well and something amazing must happen for them to avoid a sure loss from a rampant Indian side. Thorpe has further added that they were naturally disappointed with the deficit in the game after two days.England suffered a major collapse in the first innings after India posted a competitive total of 329 runs and even though they just managed to get past the follow-on mark, the eventuality was all too familiar for a team that had lost only two Test matches at home in the last nine years.With India now looking to stretch their lead, which currently stands at a brilliant 249, things look ominous for England. Batting coach Graham Thorpe admitted the same and asserted that England need 'something amazing' to avoid defeat against India in the second Test in Chennai. "You'd say we need something very special to happen tomorrow for us and for somebody to do something amazing with that bat. We're naturally disappointed with the deficit in the game after two days, but it's important we don't allow ourselves to get too down about it," Thorpe said in the virtual press conference from Chennai."The most important thing is our dressing-room doesn't get too affected by today. We've got some players in our team touring this part of the world for the first time against a very strong Indian side. Just as last week when we won the first Test match and we had to work extremely hard for it, here we know we have to stand up and keep learning as well."England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, who replaced Jos Buttler for the second Test, was a treat to watch behind the stumps and staying true to the reputation, he batted as a man possessed. However, he didn't find required support from the other end, resulting in a pretty dire situation and Thorpe admitted that a little bit of support here and there would've made things a lot easier."I thought Ben Foakes played very well, but we'd lost early wickets and that really set us back. We didn't get the partnerships going - the guys had plans, but they didn't happen for us."There were some good deliveries in there, some unfortunate dismissals and some good catches as well. We knew we were going to have some tough days here and it's incredibly challenging on that surface."Even in the first Test, we believed it was a good toss to win and this one was just as important. Pitches deteriorate as the game goes on and this one has gone a little bit quicker," he added.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Don’t really think about records and achievements, states Ishant Sharma
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Ishant Sharma, who entered the 300-wicket club, stated that he doesn’t really have his sights on records and achievements of overtaking Zaheer Khan, with the focus just on improving his game. Recalling his spell to Ricky Ponting, Ishant stated that his only aim was to pin him under pressure.Since debut, Ishant Sharma has become the sole and binder of the Indian bowling unit, after he took over the reins from Zaheer Khan. Ever since then, the pacer has been consistently threatening the batsmen with his bowling performances, combined with his height and length. However, there was a period that followed where he struggled to pick wickets, with his inconsistency over his line and length. Post the Jason Gillespie episode, the pacer has turned his career around, fast becoming one of the best pacers in the world. In the ongoing Test against England, the pacer picked up his 300th Test wicket, with the wicket of Daniel Lawrence, who was caught right in front. However, despite getting to the landmark, Ishant Sharma stated that he doesn’t really think about records or achievements. “I don’t really think about overtaking Zaheer Khan or anyone on the list of any record. I don’t think about all these records, just focusing on improving myself and my bowling efforts. Just want to enjoy my cricket and keep playing for India and helping the Indian team,” Ishant Sharma told Ravichandran Ashwin in a video posted by BCCI. Talking about the spell that he bowled to dismiss Ricky Ponting, the lanky pacer stressed the importance of bowling a lot of deliveries, outside the off-stump channel, consistently putting the batsman under the pump. He revealed that a piece of advice from Sachin Tendulkar was to be as patient as if the pacer was bowling in the country. “I have bowled plenty of spells (like the one I bowled against Ponting) in first-class cricket. What happens in first-class cricket is constantly you have to keep working hard to get a wicket. You have to keep bowling maidens to tie the batsman down and that’s what Sachin Tendulkar told me in Australia. He just wanted me to be as patient as I’m playing in India,” he added.Ishant also recalled his first-ever wicket in the longest format, with the pacer picking up Bangladesh all-rounder Mashrafe Mortaza as his first scalp in the Indian whites. “The first wicket was Mashrafe Mortaza in Bangladesh, it was my debut and there wasn’t much crowd there as well. Anil Bhai (Kumble) held the catch in the gully, that was my first wicket.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | We didn’t put much application as a batting unit; focus is always on long partnerships, states Virat Kohli
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After another loss in the first match of a Test series, Virat Kohli has stated that India didn’t put much application as a batting unit in the first innings. He also raised the question about the state of the SG ball while adding that there was no real debate over the management not picking Kuldeep.On the back of a stressful series against Australia, where they won 2-1, India were put under the pressure on day one, in unfavourable conditions for bowlers. Right from the very first over of the day, the Indian team were put under the pump by the visitors, aided by Joe Root’s double century, which blew them apart. While India were expected to put a similar show with the bat in their first innings, they conceded a huge 241-run lead. Indian skipper Virat Kohli showed his displeasure over the application shown by the batting unit in the first innings. He added that the plan was to bat long in the first innings, chasing England’s total. However, at the same time, he reinstated milestones is something that they don’t really think about but instead focused on building long partnerships. “I think the Test probably shifted in their (England)’s favour when we batted in the first innings because we were looking to bat long and we couldn’t do that. There wasn’t much application shown by us as a batting unit, something that we take a lot of pride in. Look these milestones (100s) and all we don’t think about too much. We just look at building partnerships and put the team in good positions,” Kohli told pressers in the post-match press conference. “Someone has scored a century in the last five matches doesn’t matter to us but if people do put partnerships that help us win, that’s what matters. For us, it about trying to win a game of cricket and if we need to do play solid cricket, we should be able to do it. There’s no one way about it. As a batting unit, our focus would be on long partnerships.” he added.Kohli also reinstated that the state of the pitch didn’t help India on the first two days, with the deck being flat and slow. However, he stated that England’s first innings was the major differentiator between the two teams. “Look at the reality was that pitch was flat and slow. I’m not telling it as an excuse but that was the reality on the first two days of the game. It was only after third day when the pitch started to change. Before that, it was a very flat and slow pitch. Look, they got big runs on board in the first innings. We have to understand that’s the dynamics of the sport.”While Ashwin earlier raised complains over the quality of the SG ball, Kohli also expressed his surprise over the destruction of the ball completely on the first day of the five-day encounter. “The quality of the ball (SG) as well wasn’t something that we were pleased to see, that has been an issue in the past as well. The ball was destroyed in 60 overs, it’s not something that you are ready to experience as a Test side. England played better cricket than us.”The 32-year-old also stressed that the choice of picking Shahbaz Nadeem over Kuldeep Yadav is for variety, something that he revealed that they would lack in Kuldeep’s inclusion. “Not really (Kuldeep for Shahbaz) when we are playing two off-spinners, we needed variety, hence the decision to pick Shahbaz Nadeem. There was never a second doubt on the decision to pick Nadeem over Kuldeep. Going forward, we will think about what best we can do and then work on the team combination,” he concluded.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Rishabh Pant is very instinctive; would never want him to change, opines Gautam Gambhir
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Gautam Gambhir has opined that Rishabh Pant’s instinctive nature is what makes him who he is and also opined that he never wants Pant to change his batting approach. He also insisted the management not to change his batting approach by developing defence in his arsenal of batting.Live by the sword, die by the sword - a true proverb that surrounds the young Rishabh Pant’s batting style for the Indian team in the longest format. Ever since his return in Melbourne, the left-hander has been involved in two of India’s most memorable Tests - in Sydney and Brisbane, where he scored influential 90s. However, in the ongoing Test in Chennai, the left-hander fell right in the same mark, which prompted a lot of critics to talk about his shot selection. Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir, however, was having none of that, opining that Pant is very instinctive in nature and should continue to bat the same way. He also added that putting thoughts of defending more would only make him doubt his skills."He would start thinking about his shot selection. But he's very instinctive and you like players who are very instinctive. Sometimes you have to take that with a rub of salt as well, when you say why do you have to go and do that (hit a shot) when you are in the 90s. It's a given 100, it's on a platter,” Gambhir said on ESPNCricinfo."I would never want Rishabh Pant to change. Because the more you put things in his mind, he would start defending more," he added.However, Gambhir also expressed that Pant could keep improving on his shot selection, which would only make him better. He didn’t want the left-hander to develop a defense, which will take away his natural game. "Don't tell him to develop a defense or a better technique or become more technically sound. Because the more you become technically sound, you start thinking about what ball to hit, what not to hit, and it starts playing with your instincts. I want Pant to be an instinctive player for as long as he plays," Gambhir signed off.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Not too concerned about Kohli’s form; he will get two centuries this series, reckons Michael Vaughan
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Michael Vaughan has reckoned that he isn’t overly concerned about Virat Kohli’s form, with the Indian captain’s last century coming in 2019, against Bangladesh. The former English skipper also predicted that Kohli might get two centuries during the four-match Test series against England.Since November 2019, Virat Kohli has endured a tough patch, with no triple-figure scores in the longest format. In the recent past, his long format form has rubbed onto the limited-overs one, where likewise he has gone without a big score. In the first innings of the ongoing Test, the right-hander was beaten by Dominic Bess, who got the ball to turn past his inside edge for a sharp catch to the close-in fielder. However, despite having gone seven Test innings without a century, former England skipper Michael Vaughan reckoned that he isn’t too concerned about the right-hander’s form. In fact, his confidence in Kohli is imminent, with him predicting that the Indian skipper will get two centuries in this series. “I won’t be too concerned and I’m sure he isn’t concerned. Throughout the series, he will get 1-2 hundreds. I have no question about that,” Vaughan said in a video on Cricbuzz, reported HT.While he wasn’t concerned about Kohli’s form, he was worried about the way he brought down his own dismissal, with a timid approach against the off-spinner. He went on to add that facing an off-spinner, it is a prime objective for a right-hander to not play with an angled bat as the ball might pop off to short-leg. “The manner of his dismissal today was weak for Virat Kohli. He defended the ball outside the off-stump with an angled bat facing towards wide extra cover. There is nothing in that shot. As a young kid playing the game, you don’t defend an off-spinner outside off stump because you want to be keeping the face of bat towards the ball. You play with an angled bat, and if there’s bounce, it goes to short leg. So technically, it wasn’t a great dismissal for Virat Kohli,” Vaughan added.On top of that, Vaughan also opined that it would have been better for Kohli to go all guns blazing against the young spinner. “I thought he was just trying to play today. I know that sounds simple. I think Virat’s a better player when he comes out trying to be aggressive. When his feet are moving and he’s looking to dance down to the spinners to put them under pressure,” he added.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Rishabh Pant has become more mature; aware of his shortcomings, backs VVS Laxman
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After Rishabh Pant’s 91, VVS Laxman has backed the southpaw, stating that Pant has become more mature with every passing Test match and insisted that he is now aware of his own shortcomings. He also added that an attacking Pant changed the field for Cheteshwar Pujara to get the singles.Rishabh Pant’s partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara was forged with both ice and fire. While at one end, there was Pujara, who brought the ice part - with his calm and composed defensive batting, there was Pant on the other hand, who wanted to split the gaps. The southpaw successfully put more pressure on the English bowlers, smashing them to all parts of the ground, scoring an 88-ball 91. However, his dismissal came on the back of a percentage shot that he was trying to play, chipping one straight to the deep fielder, nine short of a century at home. Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman has backed Pant, stating that he has become more mature about his batting and insisted that the southpaw knows his shortcomings. “That’s the change which we saw in Rishabh Pant’s batting in the Brisbane innings where he played a match-winning knock. He has become more mature, he is aware of his shortcomings. He is also aware of the gameplan of the opposition bowlers. He knows which line to attack and which line to play defensively,” Laxman said on the post-match show on Star Sports."Even though he got out on 91, that shot was a high percentage one. Even though the fielders are back, Pant backs his power, strength and ability to hit six because it was with the turn. If it was against the turn, he would be disappointed, we all will be disappointed,” he added.Meanwhile, at the other end, the defensive field placement allowed Cheteshwar Pujara to keep the scoreboard ticking, with singles and doubles all around the ground. “One good thing with Rishabh Pant’s approach was that suddenly the momentum of the game changes. All the attacking fielders around the bat suddenly moved away from the catching positions and to the boundary line. Pujara also benefitted and he got a lot more loose deliveries,” he added.While Pant’s approach was criticised by the purists of the game, Laxman hoped that the team management is backing his approach. However, he also added that it comes with the risk of the left-hander playing a loose shot. “We have to back his approach and I am sure the team management is backing that approach. Now and then he can play a loose shot and get out but moreover I thought it was a mature innings with caution and aggression.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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