India vs England: Sunil Gavaskar slams Indian batsmen for over-reliance on Virat Kohli

By: Sports Desk | New Delhi | Published: September 3, 2018 8:17:08 pm

Hardik Pandya scored four runs and took one wicket in the fourth Test at Southampton. (Reuters Photo)

Former Indian captain Suni Gavaskar slammed the Indian team for its over-reliance on Virat Kohli. “When you go in with five batsmen then you are bound to be in such a situation where you rely so much only on one player, Virat Kohli to get you the big hundreds,” he said in a televised discussion after the fourth Test between India and England. “He can’t do it every time, he’s human. To expect that the lower order (to save India after the top-order collapse) after that Kohli-Rahane partnership was broken, to get even another 60-70 runs was too much.”

India suffered a 60-run loss to England in the fourth Test in Southampton and thus conceded the five-Test series. England now have an unassailable 3-1 lead. The Indian batting lineup chasing 245 runs collapsed at 184 on the fourth day of the fourth Test at the Ageas Bowl. The visitors’ battling lineup was ripped apart by English spinner Moeen Ali, who scalped five wickets in the first innings and four in the second.

After losing both the openers and Cheteshwar Pujar early in the innings, Virat Kohli along with Ajinkya Rahane helped India recover from the early blows. The two batsmen paired up to add another 101 runs on the board, before Kohli got dismissed by Moeen Ali. After Kohli’s departure, the lower-order batsmen failed to carry on the run chase.

“Here I think their (the Indian openers) deficiencies were shown. Earlier (at Edgbaston and Lord’s) I think the ball was moving around quite a bit so most opening batsmen would have struggled. But here in both these innings, I don’t think that was the case,” Gavaskar added.

Gavaskar also criticised Hardik Pandya who was dismissed for a duck in the second innings of the fourth Test. “You want to call Hardik Pandya an all-rounder? Whoever wants to call Pandya an all-rounder, may call! But I don’t think so,” he said. Pandya scored four runs and took one wicket in the fourth Test.

Erasing the memories of the previous tour of England, skipper Kohli has played a pivotal role in the ongoing Test series. He has led the Indian batting lineup with 544 runs, which includes two centuries. Apart from the skipper, Pujara and Rahane are the only batsmen who have crossed the 200-run mark in the series.

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