Indian media flay Virat Kohli’s side after England series defeat
India lost the fourth Test by 60 runs and conceded an unassailable 1-3 lead to the hosts.
Updated - Sep 3, 2018 5:15 pm
The Indian media lashed out at the country’s cricket team for losing the five-Test series against England in Southampton with one match yet to be played. They said Virat Kohli’s men only have themselves to blame for the series defeat – their third straight on English soil since 2011. India lost the fourth Test by 60 runs and conceded an unassailable 1-3 lead to the hosts.
Ranked No.1 in Tests, India raised hopes of a comeback in the series after losing the first two games when they won the third match at Trent Bridge by 203 runs. There were even talks of Kohli’s team repeating what Sir Don Bradman’s Australia had accomplished against the same opponents at home in 1936-37: winning a series 3-2 after falling 0-2 behind. But India squandered the chances despite cornering England in the match on both innings, thanks to an insipid batting display.
Dailies come up with harsh criticism
“The cherished dream of staging one of the greatest comebacks in modern cricket history could so easily have been fulfilled but some spineless batting saw Kohli’s men crashing to another series loss away from home,” Times of India wrote.
The Indian Express came up with the headline: “Almost, but not good enough” and said the loss should play the dual role of both hurting and teaching. “They have a band of men that comes close but falters, can’t cross over,” it said.
Another major daily Hindustan Times said India’s bowlers did their bit in pushing India’s success overseas but their batsmen “haven’t stood up, leaving far too much to the class and consistency of skipper Virat Kohli”.
All the newspapers agreed with Kohli that it was not sufficient to challenge the opponents but also know ways to win close matches. India lost the first Test match in Birmingham by 31 runs, chasing a moderate target of 194. They were then walloped at Lord’s by an innings and 159 runs despite England scoring a standard total of 350-plus and now failed to reach a not-so-high target of 245 in the fourth Test, falling short by 60.
In eight innings that India have batted so far in the series, only twice they could cross 300 – in the third Test that they won. On four occasions, they failed to cross 200 with the lowest score being 107 scored in the first innings at Lord’s.
The series loss meant Kohli lost his second straight Test series after the 1-2 debacle in South Africa earlier this year. Though as a batsman, he did exceedingly well in the series, scoring 544 runs at an average of 68.