February 28, 2024

Former England captain Nasser Hussain said that India has not been as ruthless with the bat in the absence of star Indian batter Virat Kohli during the first two Tests against England at home. India has drawn level the five-match series 1-1 and Virat missed the first two Tests due to personal reasons. The batter is set to miss the third and fourth Test matches against England in Rajkot and Ranchi as well, according to a report from ESPNcricinfo. The former India skipper also is doubtful for the final match of the series against England in Dharamshala, the report said.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Nasser said that without Virat’s aggression and “in-your-face” attitude, India has suffered in their batting.

“He is [Virat Kohli] an aggressive cricketer. He is an in-your-face cricketer, but actually, I think with the bat, in three of the four innings, India have not quite been ruthless as they would have liked to be,” said Nasser.

“It is 1-1 and they have batted very well. The likes of KL Rahul batted well, and Shubman Gill and young Jaiswal, with his double hundred, played brilliantly.”

He also said that the Indian batters are facing a lot of soft dismissals in the series, something Virat does not face as he is “driven by runs and winning games.”

“There have been some soft dismissals in that Indian batting lineup, and it has left him vulnerable at times. One thing Kohli is with batting is ruthless. He does not do soft dismissals. He is driven by getting runs and winning games. So, they will miss that. Any side would miss the class of Virat Kohli,” he said.

The former English skipper was also critical of his side’s batting while pointing out India’s issues with converting great starts to big scores, saying that hitting 30s and 40s does not win a team Test matches.

“England’s problems in the second Test match, apart from (Zak) Crawley, there were a lot of 30s and 40s, and they may look good on the scorecard, but they do not win you Test matches, and that was similar with India in Hyderabad.”

“None of their batters went on to get a 100 and a big hundred, and if you look at the second Test with Jaiswal getting the double hundred in the first innings and Shubman Gill getting a 100 in the second innings, that is what wins you Test matches.”

“However, you wanna do it, you can do it in an attacking way like Jaiswal did or in a classy way like Shubman Gill did. That is what Dravid would be trying and knock home into that team. ‘If we are gonna miss the runs of Kohli, we cannot be getting 60s and 70s, we need big runs’.”

“That applies to England as well. A lot of batters got in and got out in Vizag and that’s something they need to put it right,” he concluded.

The third Test between both sides will take place from February 15 onwards in Rajkot.

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