Edgbaston Test Raises One Serious Question: Why only Virat Kohli Should Take Responsibility?

Edgbaston Test Raises One Serious Question: Why Should Only Virat Kohli Take Responsibility?

Out of 436 runs, Virat Kohli scored 200 runs which speaks volumes about Indian batting lineup's dismal show in Edgbaston Test

At Day 3, Stumps, the Edgbaston Test was delicately poised between England and India. The hosts needed 5 wickets, whereas India needed 84 runs to win the first Test and start the five-match series on a high. Everyone emphasised on the need to get Indian skipper Virat Kohli as early as possible. Even English strike bowler James Anderson said that they will dream with the belief of taking Kohli’s wicket and that’s exactly what they did.

The first hour of Day 4 was crucial and England executed their plans to perfection, there were no dropped catches this time. The first over of the day from Anderson set the tone by removing Dinesh Karthik. English bowlers did not let Kohli play too many balls in the initial phase.

Kohli was almost raring to get on the strike. Kohli stayed at the crease for 10.3 overs on Day 4 and only got to play 17 deliveries, one of the reasons why he was surprised by Ben Stokes with the ball coming towards him as he tried moving across the pitch to negate the outswing. He got out after scoring 51 runs from 93 deliveries, adding only 8 runs to his overnight score.

But, today’s results bring up one important question. Is it only Kohli’s job to see India win? Karthik did not learn from his previous mistakes and nicked one to the slips. Hardik Pandya started off promisingly but kept on exposing the tail. Pandya proved that he is not exactly a second innings player on overseas pitches. Though he did show some application in his batting, a betterment on his part but not enough.

There is not much one can ask from tailenders in this situation and pitch conditions. Earlier the top order failed in the last session of Day 3. Whether it was Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul or Ajinkya Rahane, all of them disappointed. Even Ravichandran Ashwin who has had an experience playing on English pitches for his County side Worcestershire could not hang on with Kohli.

The 29-year-old carried the team on his back with his maiden century in England. But it is unrealistic to expect him to see the team through on every occasion. India had a real chance of winning the first Test but they fell short by 32 runs.

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If the visitors are to make an impact in the five-match Test series, it is not just Kohli who needs to perform. He needs support from his batting unit. It’s a team game after all!

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