RAJKOT: Skipper Virat Kohli had struggled to draw the first test on Day 5, after losing six wickets for 176 runs, chasing a target of 310. The Indian captain has experienced to himself on what it could be playing with an inexperienced batting line-up on Day 5. The absence of injured Rohit Sharma in the middle order made the Indian batting unstable. Even Gautam Gambhir failed to impress at the top which meant that India lacked a player to play the role of an anchor both at the top and in the middle.
The match can be weighed around two terms, experience, and inexperience. Young Indian batting line-up lacked the experience to face the Day 5 conditions as admitted by Virat Kohli. It was also a bad toss to lose for India as the wicket favored the batting team in the initial two days of the game. In addition, spilling five catches in England’s first innings cost India massively. It could have been a different game if Indian fielders have managed to get hold of those catches. The saying “catches wins matches” suits the situation aptly. Virat will also be worried about his team’s batting as they head for Vizag to play the second test of the five-match series.
For England, there will be a lot of positives to take from this game. They managed to restrict India in the first Innings for 488 and succeeded in scalping six wickets on Day 5, falling just four short of an unlikely win. A total of four players from the English team amassed centuries, with one of them on the name of England’s skipper. The England captain also holds the record of scoring most centuries by a visiting player in India, after his fifth test ton on Day 5 of the Rajkot test. England will also be happy looking at the way Adil Rasheed and others effectively restricted Indian innings.
On the other hand, there will always be a debate on whether the England skipper made his declaration late by an hour?. The match could have yielded a result, had Alastair Cook declared England’s innings much before. However, the result of the match could have gone either side as chasing a target of less than 300 with some extra overs will ease some significant pressure off the Indian batting line-up.
At the end, the Indian team will have to look at its faults before heading for the second test at Vizag. Gautam Gambhir’s position in the team may come under the scanner if KL Rahul proves his fitness ahead of the second test. Also, India may consider roping in its best test bowler Ishant Sharma for the second test, the decision which could have been taken before the start of the first test.