Following the defeat at the hands of the New Zealand side in the WTC Final, India came under heavy criticism for their performance and the team combination. None of the players were able to make a significant contribution with the willow, with the top score being Ajinkya Rahane’s 49 in the first innings.
For the first time since 2018 at Lord’s, none of the Indian batsmen were able to score a half-century in the match. That pretty much sums up the performance and especially against a top-quality side like New Zealand, who just recently defeated England 1-0, it just wasn’t going to cut it.
The bowlers, particularly the pacers, were not up to the mark either. The troika of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammad Shami were unable to match their Kiwi counterparts in the level of bowling on display.
No matter how many times rahane pujara gill fail
They will have thier spot
2 bad matches for mayank and u guys showed the him the exit? pic.twitter.com/uBmEUbJWaN
— Rajveer Wariah (@RajveerWariah) June 23, 2021
With the second cycle of the WTC getting underway in August, India needs to pull up their socks if they’re to challenge England away. Here are 3 changes that the Indian team can make against England:
1) Hanuma Vihari in place of Ravichandran Ashwin/Ravindra Jadeja
Because of Rishabh Pant’s sublime form of late, skipper Kohli likes playing with 5 bowlers alongside 6 specialist batsmen. However, the way Indian batting flustered the moment Kohli got out in both the innings, a lot of things need to be pondered over, especially the depth in the batting line-up.
A specialist batsman like Vihari could definitely bulk up the batting line-up albeit at the loss of a spinner, i.e. Ravindra Jadeja or Ravichandran Ashwin. Weighing in the fact that Vihari has been practicing with Warwickshire in the county, he can certainly add a bit of depth to the batting order of Team India.
His temperament in tough foreign conditions was on display during the third Test against Australia in the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Partnered alongside Ashwin, Vihari played out 161 balls for 23 runs to save India from a precarious position. Therefore, he definitely warrants at least being considered in the side.