All hopes and eyes were on team India at Southampton as they went into their 4th Test match with England. The hope was for team India to level the scoreboard and eyes, waiting for team India to continue their magnificent performance from the 3rd Test match. Unfortunately, India couldn’t do either. India lost to England by 60 runs and lost the series as the score now is 3-1.
Many people voicing their opinion have blamed the players, the coaches and the dependency on the captain to score runs as the main problem. But one voice has something else to say. Former captain Sunil Gavaskar feels like the blame should be on Virat Kohli’s captaincy skills.
With the loss of the 4th Test match, the series has been taken by the hosts, England. This is Kohli’s second loss in Test cricket overseas, after losing to South Africa 2-1 earlier this year. This was India’s third successive loss in England after the 4-0 defeats in 2011 and 2014, which was under MS Dhoni.
Seeing all this led Gavaskar to slam the entire team’s dependency on Kohli to score runs while being unable to do anything themselves. He even called the over-reliance on Kohli as team India’s biggest weakness.
Virat is human and can’t score hundreds every time, Gavaskar said. What is the point of having five batsmen on a team if you just depend on one? Gavaskar claimed that the expectation on the lower order to get runs after the top collapsed was asking too much.
Talking about Kohli’s captaincy skills, Gavaskar said that when Kohli took up the captaincy role, everybody was excited as they thought the team was going in a new direction. They looked hungry to win and looked good under Kohli. The expectations were high and the team hasn’t been able to live up to them. This is why his captaincy is under question.
Gavaskar says that if any other batsman could’ve played like him and scored 400-500 runs, India would’ve surely won the series. This should be a learning curve for Kohli after South Africa and now England.
On the topic of Kohli, Gavaskar said that Kohli did everything he possibly could as a batsman. He lived up to the expectation and even surpassed them. Kohli has scored a record total of 544 runs in this series. His partner, opener Shikhar Dhawan was only able to score 158 runs. The surprising stellar performance was from Cheteshwar Pujara who scored 241 runs.
During this series, Kohli was able to cross the 6000 run mark in Test cricket. He is the second fastest Indian player to do so. Kohli is the first Indian to get 500 runs in overseas series.
Gavaskar also pointed out that MS Dhoni was a cool and calm captain. Being cool and calm didn’t mean Dhoni had more passion for the game but he did have a different outlook.