Former Indian fast bowler Ajit Agarkar has questioned Virat Kohli’s captaincy on the opening day of the Leeds Test match against England.
After getting skittled out for a paltry score of 78 runs, Kohli decided to open the bowling innings with Ishant Sharma.
The lanky fast bowler was way off target in the first over as he bowled a couple of no-balls and conceded nine runs. The experienced fast bowler could not get his line and length right as he bowled way outside the off-stump and was also short in length.
Ishant was replaced after bowling three overs in his opening spell but he failed to cause any kind of trouble to the England batsmen. Agarkar understands that Ishant has the experience under his belt but he hasn’t been bowling at his best.
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami also could not trouble the England openers as they were short in length. Furthermore, Mohammed Siraj who was India’s best bowler in the Lord’s Test match was given his first over after 18 overs were bowled.
“I think Ishant Sharma started with some nice, friendly deliveries outside off, exactly what India didn’t need after getting only 78 runs on the board,” Agarkar told Sony Sports.
“It looked that way (looked a bit gingerly). You think that after Lord’s, he was again slow today. That’s why you have to question why he was given the first over. I know he is the senior guy with a lot of experience. But at the moment, there are two guys who are better than him at the moment in the team.
“Having been bowled out for 78, that was a decision that they had to make. It may not have worked but bowling Ishant Sharma didn’t look at the right decision,” he added.
On the other hand, Agarkar added that the Indian bowlers looked a bit desperate for the wickets after they were dismissed cheaply. The Indian pacers were looking to bowl magical balls and didn’t have a proper plan as they were all over the place and didn’t hit the right areas.
“He (Virat Kohli) knew towards the end of the day’s play who his best bowlers were. “It was pretty evident, England were a lot tighter. The conditions were a bit different. England’s two tall bowlers got a bit more bounce. India perhaps were a bit desperate to get wickets,” Agarkar added.