Dhoni Upset with Top Order Virat Kohli and Pujara; Final Next Friday at Oval

Chris Woakes of England successfully appeals for the wicket of Murali Vijay. (Photo: icc-cricket.com)

Chris Woakes of England successfully appeals for the wicket of Murali Vijay. (Photo: icc-cricket.com)

India cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni lashed out at the top-order batsmen including Virat Kohli and heaped praises on the fifth bowler and others in the lower order who have scored all the runs saving India from another horrible surrender to England in the fourth Test.

India was behind 215 runs in the first innings but was again routed in the second innings on the third day of the fourth test at Old Trafford.

England, with a score of 367-9 in the first innings, won by an innings and 54 runs and after dominating the last two test matches.

The final match will be played at the Oval from Friday.

India scored 152 in the first innings after recovering from 8 for 4 and collapsed again on Saturday lossing 5 wickets for 13 runs.

England captain Alastair Cook, who is facing uncertain future after the second test at Lord’s where India extended England’s winless run to 10 matches, said: “There are a lot of good things going on at the moment and we just have to keep going.”

Upset Dhoni was curt in his remark: “I think even in the first innings we weren’t up to the mark in the batting department. I feel so far in the series our batting had not really clicked. Our batting needs to improve. There has been a lot of talk about our bowling but it’s our batting that has to improve.”

He said the team has played with a fifth bowler in the series and that fifth bowler has often scored runs. “If you look at our batting, our Nos 7,8,9 have all scored while the top-order has not scored runs. Our lower-order has camouflaged the failure of our top-order.”

He has admitted that the top order players are going through a lean patch. Outside India, this group has gone well until here. The wickets have been good for batting but we haven’t applied ourselves.”

On the poor form of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, Dhoni said, “Consistently we are exposing Pujara in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th over and he might feel that he is better off opening the batting. Our openers haven’t given us good enough start and that has put a lot of pressure on Pujara coming in at No 3, who has never felt settled.”

On Kohli, he said the player is really going through a bad spell that affects many players.
“Virat has had a lovely spell for two and half years and this is something that will happen in international cricket. But I am not really worried as he is middling the ball well,” said the skipper.

Otherwise, UK’s Moeen and Anderson have put on a devastating bowling mettle to get victory for England with 2-1 series lead over India sofar. The 5th and final test starts on Friday at the Oval.


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