Sanjay Manjrekar has admitted that at times Virat Kohli’s decisions are “a little hard to understand”. Virat Kohli has drawn criticism over his team selection and strategy after the first Test against England turned out to be his 4th consecutive loss in the format.
Sanjay Manjrekar calls Virat Kohli’s leadership as ‘hard to understand’
The 227-run loss at the Chepauk came as a rude shock to Team India, who were riding high on confidence coming into this series after their historic triumph in Australia last month.
Kohli returned to lead the team after his paternity break but couldn’t carry on the winning momentum as they went down 0-1 in the four-match series at the MA Chidambaram stadium. It was the fourth successive Test defeat under Kohli and India’s first at this venue since 1999.
While Manjrekar didn’t fault the team’s tactics in the first Test, he did raise doubts over some of Kohli’s decisions on the field when India were bowling.
“I wouldn’t say India had bad tactics or they blundered on tactics. Team selection I think was fair. People are talking about Kuldeep Yadav now because Shahbaz Nadeem hasn’t bowled well. This was a tailor-made pitch for him.
“Tactically, the small parts of the game where Washington Sundar I think bowled the wrong line to begin with. He is a great guy to bowl outside off stump and when he did that, it troubled the opposition batsmen. That’s where Virat Kohli is a little hard to understand, with his overall strategy and team selection,” Manjrekar said on ESPNCricinfo.
Manjrekar went on to say that England were tactically superior to India even though they were playing in alien conditions.
“His first few overs (Nadeem), he had two people on the drive. Maybe the bowlers weren’t allowed to begin with to bowl to the field that he wanted.
“But more than tactics, India’s ability in this match fell short and they would want to make amends in the second Test. Tactically, England were superior but I won’t say that India blundered tactically,” Manjrekar added.
The second Test between the two teams will be played at the same venue from February 13.