Former India cricketer and renowned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has expressed his reservations on captain Virat Kohli in the wake of India’s 227-run defeat against England in the first Test. The hosts failed to chase down a mammoth total set by the English side in Chennai to go 1-0 down in the series.
Although Kohli backed his players and the strategy to leave out Kuldeep Yadav from the playing XI; he received criticisms from all quarters for his tactics after Shahbaz Nadeem failed to give India the sort of return that was expected of him.
Virat Kohli’s tactics hard to understand – Sanjay Manjrekar
Kuldeep, now has warmed the bench for almost two years having played his last game during India’s victorious campaign in Australia in 2018-19. Reflecting on the same, Sanjay Manjrekar refused to call the decision as blunder, instead, he said Virat Kohli’s is a bit difficult to understand in terms of team selection and strategy.
“I wouldn’t say India had bad tactics or they blundered on tactics. Team selection I think was fair. People are talking about Kuldeep Yadav now because Shahbaz Nadeem hasn’t bowled well. This was a tailor-made pitch for him.
“Tactically, the small parts of the game where Washington Sundar I think bowled the wrong line to begin with. He is a great guy to bowl outside off stump and when he did that, it troubled the opposition batsmen. That’s where Virat Kohli is a little hard to understand, with his overall strategy and team selection,” Sanjay Manjrekar said on ESPNCricinfo.
In an attempt to seek reasons behind India’s defeat, Sanjay Manjrekar credited England cricketers for their tactical superiority throughout the game. The former cricketer also felt that the likes of Shahbaz Nadeem was not given field according to his choices which had an impact on his game.
“His first few overs (Nadeem), he had two people on the drive. Maybe the bowlers weren’t allowed to begin with to bowl to the field that he wanted.
“But more than tactics, India’s ability in this match fell short and they would want to make amends in the second Test. Tactically, England were superior but I won’t say that India blundered tactically,” Manjrekar added.