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Arj

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Joined January 2021

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An interesting final point, but not too relevant in my opinion, because the bulk of Kohli’s poor form has been in test matches.
His ODI form, since Dhoni has been gone, has not been at his best, but certainly not bad by a long stretch (883 runs in 17 innings @55.19).
In t20I he’s been in good form (896 runs in 22 innings @59.73).

Virat Kohli's captaincy dilemma

I think the whole mantra about Kohli’s ICC tournament record is overblown. He’s only had one Champions Trophy and one ODI World Cup. (Dhoni was captain for the 2016 t20 World Cup).

In both tournaments India were pretty much cruising until their respective final losses (exceptions of group stage losses to Sri Lanka and England receptively). The only reason why they might be so scrutinised is that both losses were very tragic and emphatic. I don’t think Kohli is the only problem; the whole India top order crumbled in both games. This was even after the likes of Dhawan and Rohit were having stellar tournaments.

I know Dhoni is a legend, winning one of each ICC tournament as skipper, but in comparison he’s had the opportunity of captaining in 6 t20 World Cups, 2 Champions Trophies and 2 ODI World Cups.

The notion of Kohli getting removed from white ball captaincy is preposterous, I only believe it could happen is if Kohli himself wants to manage his workload better, which is already underway with his recent announcement.
I think he deserves the ODI captaincy till the 2023 World Cup especially because it’s at home for India.

Virat Kohli's captaincy dilemma

Yeah I’m really not sure when because New Zealand is touring India in November and then they tour South Africa for their home summer.

The ICC need to sort out their priorities after the cancelled England-India Test

I’m not sure to be honest. I thought the forfeit would only have an impact on the series score rather than the insurance, but you could be right.

The ICC need to sort out their priorities after the cancelled England-India Test

The result is important especially considering the WTC but the money may be more important to the ECB.

I believe the current situation is:
England want a forfeit result from India for this test match, yet they still want a one off test played next year for monetary compensation.
India meanwhile would want next year’s test to count as the 5th test of the series but are also happy to play extra limited overs games as compensation instead.

According to the WTC rules, games can be abandoned due to COVID, albeit in slight murky circumstances this time.
Surely either way, playing a one-off test is pointless, in terms of cricketing context.
India playing more limited overs matches seems the best solution to me, and maybe they could please the ECB even more by allowing Indian players to play in the Hundred.

The ICC need to sort out their priorities after the cancelled England-India Test

Yeah the ideal initial solution would’ve been to wait a few days for the Indians to test negative and then begin the test, that’s where the IPL has been the factor.

Interestingly enough, the players still need to quarantine 6 days in Dubai anyways, meaning if the test started on time the test players would’ve missed the first few games anyways.

This makes it even more frustrating that they didn’t consider delaying it slightly.

I like the IPL, but the timing is so frustrating, days after a 4 month UK tour and days before a World Cup. Surely the Indian squad needs some rest!

The ICC need to sort out their priorities after the cancelled England-India Test

You can’t be serious, moving Rohit from the middle order to opener has been such a revelation for his test career. He finally looks at ease, especially away from home. He relishes the challenge of facing the new ball, and does it better than any other Indian batsman currently.
I doesn’t matter that he started his career in the middle he’s found his best spot now.

Nobody's place in the Indian team should be taken for granted

India A are playing 3 tests against South Africa before the main series, which could be pivotal for youngsters to stake their claim. Also the Ranji Trophy is set to come back in January.

Surely there will be some changes to the Indian middle order coming up.

Nobody's place in the Indian team should be taken for granted

Yadav is a very classy batter but I think India should let him find his feet in the white ball set ups first. I feel like his selection in the squad was based on his form in the shorter formats, but he has only played a handful of matches.
Yadav and Iyer both play for Mumbai, with Iyer having a slightly better record. I wouldn’t mind either, but I have a slight personal preference to Iyer.
Shaw is an interesting case. I think he will get a test opportunity again but he has a lot of work to do dealing with the moving ball. India had Easwaran in their test squad against England, before Shaw. I don’t know a lot about him but he’s been part of the India A set up for a while, so he might be next in line.

Nobody's place in the Indian team should be taken for granted

Great piece.

The home series against New Zealand should be a great opportunity to blood some more talent. The players have the comfort of playing at home yet still against top opposition. Another important series to test this India side’s greatness is the tour of South Africa. I would say they are favourites but the batting certainly needs to improve – A fired Rabada, Ngidi, Nortje etc will be tough to face.

If it was up to me I would think about a batting line-up maybe of Rohit, Agarwal, Gill, Kohli, Rahul.
Gill deserves to come back into the set up and at 3 could be a good spot for him. I trust Rahul moving down with the addition of Agarwal at the top more so than Vihari or SKY coming in. I also think someone like a Shreyas Iyer should come into the squad.

India has the tools to succeed, they just need to show the ruthlessness in batting selection; they’ve already done so with their bowling choices.

Nobody's place in the Indian team should be taken for granted

Seems money is all that matters to these boards, especially the big 3. It’s all stemmed from t20 cricket, and now the hundred as well.

I don’t mind the t20 format itself, it might not be proper cricket, but it’s still quite entertaining and tactical. Yet the manner in which it’s being run is slowly, but surely ruining the international calendar.
The obsession with running these franchise leagues over a logical cricket ‘summer’ is so irritating.
I understand they might be helpful for the spread of the game, but cricket will only remain as strong as it’s best format which is Test cricket.

Indian COVID concerns see fifth Test CANCELLED

I’d like to think this year was an exception due to COVID, in terms of the IPL.

The BCCI just had to fit in the IPL in the little space of the calendar that there was. The Indian players have spent almost 4 months in the UK in a bubble (of sorts), then they have just a four day turnaround to the IPL, which finishes just a week before the World Cup!
It just seems so unnecessary to me, especially as it’s conducted in a tight bubble, and it seems ultimately the players have no power against the greed of the BCCI.

Yeah, the saddest part is how it impacts the overall international calendar. The likes of Bangladesh and Pakistan still have ongoing series, but instead will only play against second string sides. Surely actually playing a t20 international series is better preparation for a World Cup rather than the players splitting up playing for different unique franchises.

Indian COVID concerns see fifth Test CANCELLED

I understand the concern from India, some of the players worked very close with the physio that tested positive so there’s bound to be a case, and it only takes one.
Let’s say they wait a few days after some more tests have been done. If they are positive, the caution was vindicated, and they would have to go back. If they test negative, great the test can now start. Now the part that annoys me.
But no, the BCCI just has to prioritise the IPL instead, with just a four day tunrourand. Surely they could conduct the test match and just have the test players miss the opening matches?
I’m not surprised at all that the BCCI were so hasty to pull out, just disappointed. Another thing I’m quite sure of, is that the players would definitely be willing for the test series to be completed, especially considering they are captained by a test purist Kohli. However it’s the board that ultimately has the say.
Another funny note is that there were initial reports in May that India wanted the series to only be 4 matches due to the short turn around till the IPL, but the ECB wouldn’t budge. Maybe it was destined to be shortened.

Indian COVID concerns see fifth Test CANCELLED

India have previously dropped Rahane, and Pujara, in 2018. The only difference I can think of is that back then Kohli was in amazing form and now he’s average.

Is it possible that Kohli is showing ’empathy’ cause he acknowledges his own bad form?
Also Kohli would heavily acknowledge the good job Rahane did when he wasn’t there in Australia.

Virat Kohli should be a politician

When Pujara comes out with a positive mindset he plays much better. He needs to find the will to do so more often.

Kohli has seemed to be more in the zone in the last few innings (relatively anyways); leaving more in the channel and punishing anything too full. His inability to convert is still disappointing.

Pant trusts his defence on flatter pitches hence he built together a decent score in the second innings. When the ball moves he doesn’t though and gets out trying to hack it. Something he needs to work on surely he knows.

The last one, Rahane almost seems a lost cause at this point; hard to pinpoint his exact problem he just seems rattled at the crease. India’s batting coach said his form is not a concern, but I believe he will be dropped very soon.

Virat Kohli should be a politician

I agree that Kohli’s pressers often seem delicately worded and he seems to be pushing this idea of team effort, belief and fight. But to honestly think that this makes him naïve or overconfident is clutching at straws a little.

After the WTC final Kohli backed the team selection and announcing it so early before the match. Yet since then India have abandoned the 3-2 pace-spin combo, leaving out Ashwin. He acknowledges problems with the side, not every idea needs to be broadcasted.

Virat Kohli should be a politician

Just because Kohli doesn’t openly criticise batsman means that he’s being political and doesn’t realise there’s a problem in the team?? That’s completely false.
I don’t understand this narrative, I’m sure in the dressing room there’s plenty going on.

To be honest making such a meal of these post match interviews is intriguing to me; most of the time really generic things are said, ‘the boys showed great fight, we love that’ or ‘the boys need to show greater application.” I don’t think a lot about the dressing room or future plans can be made of from what has been said or not said in the heat of the moment after an intense match.

Virat Kohli should be a politician

Two spinners can work cause Jadeja essentially plays as a batsman, and I truly believe Ashwin can be quite effective in the remaining matches.

Yes I know Pujara has problems, but I think initially India should drop one of Pujara/Rahane and not both. I don’t like judging a player off one innings, especially one that was ultimately irrelevant, but Pujara did start to look very fluent again in that 91. I saw a stat saying Rahane has averaged 33.77 since November 2016 – that’s 48 tests or roughly 2/3 of his career. He is the only Indian batsman ever to average below 35 across a 48 test stretch of his career, therefore Rahane has to be the first to go.

When you say Vihari is a like for like, are you suggesting that he has the same problems as Rahane? Not really sure what your point is there.

Innings defeat at Headingley: Time for some changes in the Indian team

India definitely needs to make some changes, but I disagree a little with your decisions.

To be honest I’d take an out of form Pant over Saha every day of the week. Pant’s keeping has now improved and Saha only really bats ok in Asian conditions, where he can dig in. In test matches outside of Asia and the West Indies, he averages 13.2 (yes it’s a small sample size but still).

Hanuma Vihari would be the correct decision over SKY. Yes he’s struggled in recent times, but his latest test innings heroics means he deserves to be the next choice. I know Indian fans are excited by a new player like Yadav, but I don’t think it should be risked.

My XI would be: Rohit, Rahul, Pujara, Kohli, Vihari, Jadeja, Pant, Ashwin, Shami, Siraj, Bumrah.

Innings defeat at Headingley: Time for some changes in the Indian team

Mentally, it feels like Pujara and Rahane aren’t there right now. Before this test Rahane mentioned that him and Puj aren’t effected by outside noise and feel comfortable in their game, but I don’t believe this is fully true. Pujara seems to have lost all flow in his game, and either finds himself in way too much of a shell or poking unnecessarily at deliveries outside off. Rahane also seems rattled at the crease, surprising from a man that usually exudes calmness. Exemplified by his recent form of runouts.

Virat’s struggles are most disappointing, because of the greater success that he’s had. Kohli is trying to hit his way out of trouble and it clearly wont work. He really seems a shadow of his previous self.

To be honest, at this point it only feels like a lot of luck could drag those three back in form. If the openers or Pant and/or Jadeja don’t bail the team out, India look quite a subpar batting unit.

78 all out: A day that the Indian team should never forget

Not sure if this relates too much but I find it kind of interesting how the usual supposed white ball/IPL specialists like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Pant have had decent test success this year, whilst the test purists Pujara and Rahane have struggled.
I wonder if those players mindfully knowing they need to adjust their natural game has helped them succeed in red ball cricket.

Never mind England, India’s batting lineup needs re-jigging

One thing I’d like so say about Rishabh Pant, is that for most of his test career he’s been able to cruise to 25-40 but can’t push on. In 2021 he has been able to do so a few times, hence showing his class, yet the matches in England he’s reverted back to his old self. This could be due to his over aggressive nature, rather than knuckling down. Sometimes it’s a little frustrating cause opposition captains seem to gift Pant singles with their field placements.
On him batting at 6, surely he is good enough to do so. It just depends on the makeup of the side, (whether an allrounder is played or a specialist 6th batter). I’m certain the longer Pant gives to set himself the better he performs.

Never mind England, India’s batting lineup needs re-jigging

I agree 100%.
That is an interesting point about how he’s still quite hard to dismiss. I guess he needs to just work at his attacking/positive mindset then, because his defensive technique will be fine.

Never mind England, India’s batting lineup needs re-jigging

I agree generally with the sentiments, Pujara and Rahane are becoming hindrances to the side.
(Their partnership at Lords ending up being fine enough, but I’m still going to back the following views).

People saying Pujara is just playing his natural game, anchoring the innings are wrong. An in form Pujara is able to put bad balls away and accelerate nicely, maybe even to a 50+ strike rate. Now he can’t get going at more than two runs an over, so even if he’s face a lot of balls he hasn’t made a dent.

Rahane’s form has been shoddy for a while. His first tours of the SENA countries were great, but second time around he struggled and this year he hasn’t been too good either. I think he’s a very classy guy and offers good leadership, but right now it feels like Rahane is only performing just enough to not get dropped, i.e one hundred every other series.

Realistically I think India will give them both till the end of this series, and maybe even the South Africa series at the end of the year, but I believe alternates should be considered soon.

People use Kohli’s bad form to back them up. However last time in England Kohli was magnificent and they struggled. Kohli deserves more leeway cause at his best he’s much better than Rahane and Pujara.

Never mind England, India’s batting lineup needs re-jigging

To be honest I think cricket in the Olympics might be similar to football in the sense that it could be for like the u23s or maybe using the ‘A’ teams. I think the cricket calendar is already quite packed for the top stars.

What would an Aussie cricket side for Los Angeles 2028 look like?

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