London: Virat Kohli’s team for Edgbaston had eight men over 29 and probably need to win the ongoing series and the one in Australia to satisfy the captain’s stated ambition for his No 1-ranked side. He has set stratospheric standards since taking over as India’s Test captain during the 2014-15 tour of Australia.
When India collected the Test Championship mace after moving to No 1 in October 2016, Kohli took the opportunity to demonstrate his ferocious ambition. “I’m confident we will continue to win matches at home as well as abroad in the coming seasons,” he said.
“I want this team to be remembered as one of the finest Test teams ever.” No one disputed their No 1 ranking they are now a whopping 19 points clear of South Africa in second place but most accepted the historical greatness Kohli craved could only be achieved away from home. It’s surely more relevant to judge modern India sides by their performances in favorable conditions (everywhere in the subcontinent and the West Indies) and unfavorable (South Africa, England, Australia and New Zealand).
India’s schedule meant no Tests in those four countries from January 2015 to January 2018, during which they thrashed all-comers elsewhere. The tour of South Africa this year was the start of a legacy-shaping period that includes this tour of England and a four-Test series in Australia starting in December.
India lost 2-1 in South Africa, despite playing some excellent cricket at times. They probably need to win in both Australia, where no Indian team have won a Test series, and England, to satisfy Kohli’s ambition.
This is an ageing team eight of the starting XI at Edgbaston were 29 or over and for many the chance will not come again. It doesn’t sound like hyperbole to say that this week’s match at Lord’s could be a defining Test for this generation. (Excerpts from The Guardian).
Lack of runs (Tests) in South Africa
- 1st Test: 209 and 135
- 2nd Test: 207 and 151
- 3rd Test: 187 and 247
- In Eng 1st Test: 274 and 162
- 61 Kohli averages in these four Tests.
- 51 Kohli averages in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and England, only just below his average of 56 everywhere else.
- 15 is average of the rest of the top 7 in these matches.
- India’s Test record in 4 nations since 2010-11 when they drew series 1-1 in SA
W 2; L 18; D 5
- India’s record at home during the period
W 19; L 3; D 4
29 or over was the age of 8 of the playing XI at Edgbaston Test. They need to win series in Eng and Aus as for many the chance will not come again.
(With inputs from Agencies)