‘Too Defensive, Unknown Territory’: Ex-cricketers Slam Indian Team for Shunning Attacking Approach

Last Updated: January 29, 2024, 11:08 IST

A rare Test defeat at home for India. (BCCI Photo)

A rare Test defeat at home for India. (BCCI Photo)

In what was a forgettable day of Test cricket for India, they squandered a first innings lead of 190 runs to lose to England in Hyderabad.

India have been criticised for their defensive approach in England’s second innings as the tourists piled on the runs and set a target that proved beyond the reach of Rohit Sharma’s men in the first Test that concluded on Sunday in Hyderabad.

Several former cricketers pointed out how the Indian players looked devoid of energy, especially during the 80-run partnership between Ollie Pope and Tom Hartley for the eighth wicket.

Also Read: Jadeja Undergoes Scan After Hamstring Trouble, Could Miss 2nd Test

England batting legend Kevin Pietersen said Pope’s stunning 196 and his stand with Hartley ‘destroyed’ the soul of Indian team.

“This partnership has destroyed India’s soul. England have put itself in a commanding position. Psychologically a lead over 200 is a huge blow for India. Batting in the fourth innings is incredibly difficult. There’s a reason why teams don’t chase big totals in the fourth innings of a Test match. It is very tough,” Pietersen observed while commentating during the match.

India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik said the team should have attacked more. “India have been too defensive. I can understand being defensive to Pope but to Tom Hartley, Jadeja and Ashwin should get attacking fielders and not so many sweepers,” Karthik said.

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri noticed how the players began showing signs of being ‘under pressure’ with England scoring aplenty in the third innings of the match.

“The body language is dropping. This is an unknown territory for India. You can sense the home team is under pressure. They are not used to visiting teams pilling on 400-plus runs in the third innings,” Shastri said on air.

Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar picked Pope as the match-winner of the Test. “All said and done. The simplest review of the Hyderabad Test defeat for India would be saying “Well done Ollie Pope!” Manjrekar posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Shastri praised England’s positive mindset and also lauded the sizeable crowd that attended the contest across the four days.

“Fantastic game of Test match cricket in front of a terrific crowd to support. Just shows what a fearless and positive mindset can achieve. Well played England,” Shastri wrote on X.

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