Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq has opined that the Indian batters should have taken their chances on the opening day of the Leeds Test, remarking that they never put any pressure on the English bowlers. He also suggested that India should have bowled first after winning the toss.
One of the hallmarks of India's batting unit in the ongoing series has been their discipline and patience with the bat. It was exemplified by the openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, who curbed their natural instincts and put up a solid show in the first two Tests. However, after being put under immense pressure early on in the first innings of the Leeds Test, the Indian batting line-up crumbled as was bundled out for a paltry 78. As a result, the shot selection of the Indian batters has been under scrutiny.
However, former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq opined that India's shambolic batting in the first innings at Headingley was down to not putting enough pressure on the English bowlers, which allowed the hosts to dictate terms. He cited the examples of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli and asserted that they needed to take chances with the bat after facing a certain number of deliveries, which they didn't.
“The Indian batters never put any pressure (on the bowlers). As a cricketer, whatever the nature of the pitch is, whether there is swing or spin, if you have played 25-30 balls, your eyes, your eye coordination, your hand coordination, all these get accustomed to the pitch," Inzamam said in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel.
"You have to take some chances after that. Like Rohit Sharma, he played 105 balls. You can’t say that you are not set after playing 105 balls. You have to take responsibility and you have to play your strokes. Virat Kohli too played 31 balls. But what did he do? He made 7 runs, and he was completely tied up," he added.
India decided to go with an unchanged side for the third Test and decided against changing the 4-1 bowling combination after winning the second Test. With a four-prong pace attack on a cloudy day, Virat Kohli decided to bat first, a decision which has been received criticism from some quarters.
Inzamam stated that India should have inserted England in after winning the toss in Leeds, given how poorly the hosts' batters had fared in the first two Tests.
“(England are) a team that you had defeated some days before. In the fourth innings, on a dry pitch, you made them absolutely flat. You destroyed their batting. If you have won the toss here, put them into bat again," he said.
“With the advantage of two hours (of moisture), I won’t say that England would have been all out for 78, but they wouldn’t have scored big."