England coach Trevor Bayliss believes his team can win the series if they take the advantage of their opposition’s over-reliance on their skipper.
Cricket news: Putting pressure on other batsmen will add pressure on Kohli, says Bayliss
India’s skipper Virat Kohli scored a total of 200 in the Edgbaston Test, 149 in the first innings and 51 in the second innings.
His first innings almost took the game towards his team’s way, but he was left helpless as his teammates could muster up a joint effort of 214 runs as England won the game by 31 runs.
Kohli now became the best batsmen in the ICC Test rankings, the first Indian to occupy the spot since the legendary Sachin Tendulkar in June 2011.
Bayliss had exclaimed that “if he’s not the best batter, he’s very close to it”, but on the other hand he has said that India’s over-dependency on Kohli can prove fatal for them.
“The way he played the first and second innings was high-class stuff,” said Bayliss. “If we can put pressure on the other batters in the team, that’s going to add to the pressure on him.”
Even the England top order has not been perfect, especially against the moving ball as their deficiency was exploited by Ravichandran Ashwin, who took four for 63 and three for 59.
The main talking point of the match was the dismissal of former England captain Alastair Cook who was bowled by Ashwin in both the innings with identical deliveries.
Among the Brits, only three scores were above 30 in both the innings from top six batsmen, Keaton Jennings (42), Joe Root (80) and Jonny Bairstow (70) which came in first innings.
“We’re very much in the hunt here,” said Bayliss. “When the ball’s moving, we’ve shown that a few of their guys do struggle against the moving ball. I’m sure that they’ll be going away working out how they can play it as we’re going to be working on how to play the off spin.
“Certainly but I don’t think it’s any different for us. We’ve got a few guys who are not necessarily cemented in the team and that puts extra pressure on people like Root, Bairstow and those guys to make the big scores. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a concern. It always has been: losing plenty of wickets in quick succession.”
Another problem of both the teams was the slip-catching. England dropped all total four catches including one of Kohli in the first innings when he was batting on 21.
Dawid Malan, who himself dropped three catches, is not included in the second Test and Joe Root might take his place in the slip cordon. Bayliss believes the problem is more about confidence rather than personnel.
“The more it gets spoken about in situations here like this. Just that bit of anxiety or stiffening of hands as it comes along. We’re doing plenty of work on it. It’s just disappointing, more so for them than anyone else.”