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Hussain Blames Kohli Captaincy, Vaughan All Praise for Root as Former Captains Weigh in on Edgbaston Thriller

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: August 5, 2018, 1:23 PM IST
Hussain Blames Kohli Captaincy, Vaughan All Praise for Root as Former Captains Weigh in on Edgbaston Thriller

England celebrate after winning the first Test. (AFP)

England’s 31-run victory over India in the first Test match at Edgbaston has elicited different opinions from former cricketers. While the likes of Mike Atherton, Nasser Hussain, Ian Chappell and Michael Vaughan were unanimous in their praise of Indian captain Virat Kohli the batsman, Hussain, a former England captain himself, felt that his captaincy could have been better.

“Kohli was phenomenal in this game. He deserved to be on the winning side for the way he played with the tail,” Hussain told Sky Sports. “He single-handedly brought India back into the Test match. I do think he should take some of the responsibility for the loss, though.

“England were 87/7 with Curran and Adil Rashid at the crease and for some reason Ravichandran Ashwin went out of the game for an hour. India lost control then – he needs to look back on his captaincy and say, ‘when I’ve got a bloke who averages 19 against left-handers and a 20-year-old left hander on strike, why did I take him off?’,” he said.

While Michael Vaughan was not as critical of the Indian captain, Kohli’s English counterpart Joe Root received high praise from him when he tweeted, “He might be a pal but I am not bias in saying @root66 Captaincy this morning was fantastic … Tactics and mindset spot on … "

Earlier in the Test, Vaughan had also said that Kohli would not be able to repeat his first innings heroics in the second innings, much to the ire of Indian cricket fans. He engaged in some light-hearted ribbing on social media, when his prediction seemingly came true and Kohli could not guide his team to victory, receiving scant support from the other Indian batsmen.

Finally, Vaughan tweeted about how the Test match in general and how it provided plenty of entertainment.

Meanwhile, Mike Atherton wrote in his column for The Sunday Times after the end of day two that, “It was impossible to understand why Test cricket should be facing an existential crisis.” And finally, Ian Chappell summed up his view on the match in his column for ESPN, saying “Test cricket needs more matches like Edgbaston.

“Most of the ingredients that showcase Test cricket in its best light are on display in the UK: the pitches provide some encouragement for the bowlers, and the ball swings on a pretty regular basis. If what was on show at Edgbaston has difficulty filling seats, then Test cricket really is in deep trouble.”

Chappell also compared the battle between Anderson and Kohli to the one between Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar at the Chepauk Stadium in 1998. “Throughout that battle for supremacy, Anderson maintained a high standard of outswing bowling that not only consistently challenged Kohli but also saw him dropped in the slips. With the game delicately poised and the high skill level of the two contestants involved, it was reminiscent of that wonderful battle between Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar at Chepauk in 1998.”

If the Edgbaston Test is any indication of how the series is going to be contested, then the remaining four Tests may potentially throw up some very intriguing scenarios.

First Published: August 5, 2018, 12:25 PM IST

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