Former Indian wicket-keeper batsman has opined that the team’s middle-order hasn’t fired for the last two years.
There is a lot of experience in India’s middle-order with Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. However, all three of them haven’t consistently got the big runs in the last two years.
Pujara was averaging around 29 in the first cycle of the World Test Championship. Rahane scored a fine hundred at MCG against Australia but apart from that knock, he hasn’t delivered the goods for the team. Furthermore, Virat Kohli scored his last Test hundred back in 2019 in the pink-ball Test match against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens.
On the other hand, the Indian bowling battery have consistently performed for the team but they haven’t received support from the batting unit. Moreover, Rohit Sharma has been getting off to starts in foreign conditions but he hasn’t been able to convert them into substantial scores.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli was dismissed on a Golden duck when he tried to defend the first ball against James Anderson. In fact, the ball was on the fifth stump line but Kohli decided to meddle with it. Furthermore, Rahane was not confident in his approach and didn’t look at his best before he was run-out.
Deep Dasgupta said while talking on YouTube Channel, “Very uncharacteristic of Virat. He Generally leaves a few deliveries while playing overseas, so it could be a lapse of concentration. Ajinkya Rahane looked very nervous and fidgety during the first 25-30 deliveries, which was not the case before.”
“The Indian middle-order has really not fired for the last two years or so, with all those runs, experience, class, and performances. They haven’t scored the big runs as consistently as India would have wanted.”
On the other hand, the former Indian gloveman added that Pujara looks like a different batsman altogether. Pujara looked at sea during his short stay and also survived a close LBW shout when he decided to offer no shot against Ollie Robinson but was soon dismissed by James Anderson.
“He’s looking like a different player. Over 6000 runs, but now he looks like someone who is under some pressure. He has not made any big runs in the last two years, which is an area of concern. It seemed like he was looking for runs straight away which is not usual, the ever present calmness was absent.”
“When you’re being criticized as a 24-25-year-old, you know you can go back to domestic cricket and make a comeback. But at this age and stage of his career, it might be difficult.”