Indian on Saturday lost their first Test encounter against England at Edgbaston in Birmingham by 31 runs. For India, Skipper Virat Kohli waged a lone battle by scoring 149 and 51 in the two innings.
Given that India as a team could score only 274 and 162 in two innings respectively, Kohli’s individual performance with the bat assumed significance.
However, after the match, former England captain Nasser Hussain chose to single out Kohli for India’s defeat. Speaking to Sky Sports channel, Nasser said that Kohli’s poor captaincy cost India the match in Birmingham.
Questioning Kohli’s decision to take Ravichandran Ashwin off bolwing when England were reduced to 87/7, Nasser said that the former ought to take some of the responsibility for the loss.
He said, “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?”
The former England captain, who’s now associated with Sky Sports as a pundit, added, “Kohli was phenomenal in this game. He deserved to be on the winning side for the way he played with the tail. He single-handedly brought India back into the Test match. I do think he should take some of the responsibility for the loss, though.”
Many on social media greed with Nasser. One user wrote, “Nasser Hussain is right on asking a big question to Virat Kohli. Here is the difference between Kohli & Dhoni as captains. 87-7, come on Kohli you were so defensive. That partnership made a huge difference. Hence proved that a great batsman can’t always be a good captain.” Another Indian fan tagged Kohli on Twitter and wrote, “please take Nasser Hussain comments #Kohli deserved to be on winning side for the way he played with tail.Burhe should take some of the responsibility for the loss. England were 87-7 with Curran/Rashid at crease/for some reason Ashwin went out of the game for an hour?”
Nasser was all praise for England’s Sam Curran, who impressed everyone with with both and ball in what was only his second Test.
He said, “He has won England this game. India might say Kohli got 200 runs but who turned this game around? A 20-year-old. It’s a phenomenal achievement. He changed the course of two innings. He came on with India 50-0 and pitched it up, swung it and got four for nothing and he then went in with England 87-7.”