Lord’s Test: Ravi Bopara highlights the decision that pushed India out of the hunt

VVS Laxman said it is important for Kohli not to think that he made a wrong selection and do the best with what he has.

Ravi Bopara
Ravi Bopara. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Shubham Ghosh

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England batsman Ravi Bopara took a slight dig at Indian captain Virat Kohli over his captaincy in the second Test at Lord’s on Saturday, August 11. Bopara said the latter’s decision to bring Ravichandran Ashwin so late into the attack was surprising, adding that the Indian skipper perhaps misread the pitch under changing weather conditions.

India were struggling to contain England who dashed to a 250-run lead over the visitors after they were bowled out for 107 in the first innings on Day 2 in the rain-hit Test. Indian seamers started well to reduce England to 89 for 4 but a fightback led by Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes saw the visiting side losing their ground in the game. While Woakes hit his first international hundred at the iconic venue, Bairstow fell for 93 after putting on a 189-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

“Bringing Ashwin that late surprised all of us. I think in Virat’s mind, he is little bit thinking that the pitch is playing like yesterday. It’s not playing like yesterday. The weather conditions are completely different. That is the biggest factor (at) Lord’s yesterday especially with the gloomy conditions, the floodlights one, that made it so difficult. It’ s a little bit sunny today. Might be cold but I think Virat’s got in his mind that seamers are the most dangerous. I think Ashwin coming in that late hurt India a little bit,” Bopara said on ESPNcricinfo.com.

“I think he could’ve controlled the run rate as well just as England were pushing ahead. So from one end, they got to keep it tight and attack from the other end. They got to do something and be smart the way they go back and not giving England too big a lead,” he added.

Kohli must not think about wrong selection, feels Laxman

Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman said it is important for Kohli not to think that he made a wrong selection or that he is missing Umesh Yadav and make use of the resources available at your disposal.

“If that means that from one end, we have to have a spinner who can control the game and from other end, you have the fast bowlers, whether it is Ishant, whether it is Shami or may be even Hardik Pandya, but bowl in short bursts – may be three or four overs – where they can come and look to take wickets,” Laxman said, adding that rotating bowlers is key for India in the Test.

India went with two spinners in Lord’s Test with Kuldeep Yadav joining Ashwin, who took seven wickets in the first game at Edgbaston, at the expense of Umesh. However, neither Yadav nor Ashwin could take a wicket in the first innings of the Lord’s Test so far.

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