Former English spinner Monty Panesar feels that Virat Kohli will be under pressure for his leadership while saying that if India lose the second Test, then the skipper should think of relinquishing the captaincy. Panesar further stated that India were really defensive in the first Test.
India lost four games on a trot when Virat Kohli led the side, which brought the debate squarely on him. Given the way the Indian team performed in the first Test in Chennai, questions were asked if Kohli would be better placed playing purely as a batsman where he has a lot to offer to the Indian team.
With Ajinkya Rahane just being off a brilliant series as captain, following a three-game unbeaten run with a depleted side, he has become a favourite among many fans and experts. Monty Panesar, who first came face to face with Kohli during the 2012 series that India went on to lose subsequently, feels that Kohli should leave the captaincy duties if India lose the second Test.
"Virat will be under pressure. This is an important series for him. If he loses the second Test, I think he should give up his captaincy. Because India will be down 2-0 in the series, and they should change the captain. Virat desperately needs a win or a draw. If he doesn't, it could be his last match as captain," Panesar told TimesofIndia.com.
India picked Shahbaz Nadeem over Kuldeep Yadav despite the presence of a flatter bowler like Washington Sundar in the opening Test and even though the Jharkhand spinner picked up four wickets across two innings, he was conceding a lot of runs and bowled a nine-ball over due to his excessive overstepping. Panesar stated that India should've picked Kuldeep Yadav ahead of Nadeem in order to provide the bowling unit a more attacking edge.
"I think India went defensive in their selection policy. They should have picked Kuldeep Yadav in the first Test. He should have been included as a second spinner in place of Shahbaz Nadeem on that track. It was really surprising to see Virat not go for Kuldeep," Panesar said.
"That was not a good call. I think Kuldeep should have been an automatic selection. England haven't really practiced against a Chinaman bowler. So, Kuldeep would have done wonders for India. Nadeem wasn't sharp and probably was the weakest link in the team. There was no need to play Nadeem. And third and final point is India badly missed and struggled without Ravindra Jadeja. India were defensive in their approach," Panesar further added.