Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly believes that other batsmen of India apart from Virat Kohli should also take up added responsibility if they are to win the Edgbaston Test match.
Cricket news: Kohli again stood tall in the second innings after India was reduced to 78 for 5
India were given a modest target of 194 in the second innings to chase, but at one time the visitors were reduced down to 78 for 5.
Virat Kohli and wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik steadied the innings a bit to go into the stumps on Day 3 at 110 for 5 with a clear target of 84 more runs to win while England will need 5 more wickets for their win.
Ganguly, who is presently in Birmingham for the commentary work, heaped all praise on the current Indian captain Virat Kohli’s first innings knock of 149 which took the visitors close to England’s first innings of 287, giving the hosts a slender 13-runs lead.
Kohli’s innings was a one-man show as the second highest scorer for the team was opener Shikhar Dhawan, who scored just 26.
Although Kohli’s innings was not flawless as he was dropped twice on 21 and 51, yet his innings came at such a crucial time that it eclipsed all criticisms.
“Kohli’s innings of 149 has kept India in the hunt in Birmingham. He not only scored a ton but also helped India reduce the deficit to just 13 runs. Virat has kept India alive in the game. Lot of responsibility will again be there on Virat but other batsmen too need to make runs,” Ganguly, who is IndiaTV’s Cricket Expert, said during ‘Aaj Ki Baat’ show.
In the second innings also Kohli stood like a pillar among the ruins as the top order fell cheaply, handing the workload to Kohli and the lower order batsmen.
Ganguly is one of the few Indian captains who did not lose a Test series in England, as his side drew the 2002 series 1-1.
Ganguly praised the Indian bowlers for their commendable performance on Day 3 at Birmingham as the bowlers restricted the hosts to a meagre total of 180, giving the visiting team an opportunity to take an early lead in the series.
Ishant Sharma took five wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets to back his four wickets which he had got in the first innings.
The most prized wicket will obviously be that of former England captain Alastair Cook, whom Ashwin had bowled in the similar way in both the innings.
Ganguly has praised Ashwin’s bowling as he said that it is the first time he is seeing the off-spinner bowl so well in English conditions.
England could have been in more trouble as they were once down to 87 for 7, but a late half-century from tail-ender Sam Curran revived their innings and took their lead to almost 200.
“Indian bowlers also played a major role on day three and took the team to a good position where they can now win the match,” Ganguly said.
“There are seven left-handers in the England team and that is why R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma has caused problems for them. When Ishant bowls over the wicket, he creates problems for left-handers,” he added.