The embarrassing loss of India in the 4th Test against England did not go down well with Indian fans, and definitely not with Indian legends who each pointed out what led India to lose. Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman felt that the English team had managed to ‘seize key moments’ unlike India. They saw India’s weakness which included captain Virat Kohli having no support from his team, especially his batsmen who failed to perform consistently, Laxman believed.
In his column in the Times of India, Laxman stated that India had done several things right in the 4th match as they tried to level the series but failed to seize the key moments. Laxman was particularly disappointed as he believed India has everything needed to be successful, at home and away too. Despite half-centuries from Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli, India was all out for 184, failing to reach the target of just 245.
Laxman believed that the excellent performance of the Indian bowlers had put the English team in a tight situation, but India had been unable to stay on top. The attacking lower middle order of the English side made a comeback and India could not stop them. This however, was not a one-off. It happened in Birmingham and in Lord’s. Laxman believes that this must be sorted out by the Indian team because repeating the same mistakes may cost India its champion status in world cricket.
Laxman was not all just critical though, he was highly appreciative of Cheteshwar Pujara’s innings with the tail-enders, which revealed an untapped potential in Pujara’s batting style. He has never been seen this way and Laxman believed it was a praiseworthy effort.
Laxman believed that it was crucial for the team to study and understand why so many wickets were lost against Moeen Ali who bagged nine wickets in Southampton. It is not consolation enough that India played competitively, even against South Africa early in 2018. What it ultimately boils down to is that the Indian batting order needs to work on its consistency to support Virat, as every match cannot rest on his shoulders alone.