India in England 2014

'Expect Kohli to get at least three hundreds'

Sanjay Manjrekar analyses the strengths and weaknesses of India's middle-order contenders touring England

Sanjay Manjrekar

July 6, 2014

Comments: 37 | Text size: A | A
"He's not prepared to fail"

One of the smartest batsmen around, a lot is riding on the very confident Virat Kohli. With no apparent weakness, he should avoid playing away from his body early on in his innings till his feet start moving well. Given the opposition bowling attack and the kind of form Kohli is in, there should be no surprises if he notches up lots of runs on the tour.

"A bit temperamental"

After a dream start to his Test career, Rohit Sharma has had a bit of reality check on the South Africa and New Zealand tours. Maybe he is suffering from insecurity regarding his place in the team, which have led him to misjudge length on certain occasions. Relying more on defence and rotating the strike when early on at the crease should serve him good and if he gets going, he will surely be difficult to stop.

"Vulnerable to getting out lbw"

Ajinkya Rahane shows good balance on the crease and can accelerate at will to score quick runs. Playing on the up, trying to fetch balls outside off stump with loose hands and playing across the line should be avoided to succeed. Given his appetite for big runs, if Rahane gets going early on in the series, he is bound to end up with a very successful one.

"He is still the man to score under pressure"

Compared to other Indian batsmen, MS Dhoni does not seem to have a problem against pace and bounce, which should work in his favour. A known weakness against the ball pitched outside the off stump could be exploited by the opposition, but if Dhoni could rattle bowlers by playing big shots early in his innings, it could get him going.

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is a cricket commentator and presenter on TV. @sanjaymanjrekar

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by opto_pus on (July 10, 2014, 23:13 GMT)

'Expect Kohli to get at least three hundreds'he scored a total of 1 test run wow what a test great in the making Kohli is. Kohli the batsman and Ishant the great Indian bowler I can see the Aussies shaking in their boots about facing these two.

Posted by Sultan2007 on (July 9, 2014, 9:17 GMT)

Yes, Kohli and Pujara can each get 3 hundreds...but only if the openers do their job. And if Kohli and Pujara get hundreds after the openers having done their job, it is highly probable that Rahane and Rohit could get 3 figures as well. 100-0 and 35+ overs should be the Mantra. Chances are at this stage Anderson and Braod would have gone through 2 spells of 6 overs each and will have left 16 or so of the remaining 55. If they bowl more, that is fine s it will serve India well for the remainder of the 5 match series! The flip side of course, is equally true if India' need to get breakthroughs early. The goal should be to always have Prior and Stokes come in to bat under pressure.They are capable of taking the game away otherwise, batting as low down as they do

Posted by Sultan2007 on (July 9, 2014, 9:07 GMT)

I am really excited about this series.India may well lose. But the potential of unearthing tremendus upsides forthe future is enormous. It kind of feels like the 1996 tour in that respect, when Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly were discovered. Pujara and Kohli can enhance their reputations in 2014. Rohit and Rahane can come through. Could be a big one for Dhawan and Vijay as well. The wonderful thing is that this team is so full of potential. And not to forget Bhuvi and Shami! If this potential in unleashed in this series, it could be a thing of beauty!

Posted by cricketsubh on (July 8, 2014, 13:28 GMT)

i do not think that kholi make 3 100s i want india goes for win not thinking about personal 100s or runs making 100 when ur team wining is lot batter then lose or draw kholi makes 6 100s 3 of them in aus,sa,nz but what happen vs aus ind lose by innings vs nz match got draw vs sa almost they lose the match i think indian player is to much focusing on making 100s but when the big time comes they fails to save the team from losing ,2011 aus vs sa in a green track clarke make great 100s u ever see in the cricket field but aus lose and after the lose a commentator ask clarke to say about his knock but clarke replays their no meaning to it becoz australia lose thats the attitude indian team to learn wining not just scoring 100s .plz publish cricinfo plz plz plz

Posted by   on (July 8, 2014, 1:52 GMT)

wont be surprised if england wins. India is playing with 10 while they play 11. we have ishant sharma, the spearhead...

Posted by itismenithin on (July 7, 2014, 12:50 GMT)

Interesting observation on the different techniques of the batsmen, but i think Sanjay has downplayed some of the weakness of MSD and Rohit, they got some glaring issues to address and not just slight technical flaws.

Posted by arup_g on (July 7, 2014, 11:57 GMT)

Let's not heap the pressure on Kohli, just like we have done for many many years with Tendulkar. Like Ganguly and Dravid shared the responsibilities and run scoring pressures, hopefully Pujara and Rohit do the same.

Rohit needs to have a very good series to really cement his place in the batting line up. He has flashes of brilliance, but never consistency so it's about time he showed that he is here to stay.

Looking forward to India's top 6 scoring 400+, which then allows Dhoni to play his natural aggressive game later on to push for declaration!

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 7:16 GMT)

sanjay u r out of ur mind ....3 hundreds ... hope he gets one ... this is not an srilankan attack .. in indian conditons .. its england.. hope he scores.. i wont be surprised if he score less thn 25 on more thn 3 occasions ..

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 1:19 GMT)

The expectation is mainly because of SL win against England. SL though they do not have superstars in their lineup always have done better than India when they tour abroad. It will be 70-30 in England's favor thanks to India's bowling. They will struggle to take 20 wickets which is the key to win test matches.

Posted by Nampally on (July 6, 2014, 23:44 GMT)

Summary of Sanjay's assessment of the Indian batting: "No Reason why Pujara should not succeed in England" + "Expect Kohli to get 3 hundreds". Why is Kohli's batting quantified in term of Centuries, why is Pujara given a vague assessment? Is not "Expect" synonymous to "Prediction"? I hope both Pujara & Kohli will succeed in England so that Indian batting can put up a good total. However I wish to add that Cricket is a glorious but unpredictable game - that is why it is a great game - bit like our Life! No one can "predict/expect" the runs to be scored by any player- just like no one can predict one's life in terms of years- let alone number of Centuries a Cricketer can get in a series. I wondered what is the basis of Sanjay Manjrekar's Prediction! As an Indian Fan I will be thrilled if he does get 3 centuries. But even the Great Don Bradman could not get 4 runs needed to make his Test average100, in his last innings- bowled for a Duck by an unknown Test Debutant!.

Posted by Westmorlandia on (July 6, 2014, 21:43 GMT)

"At least 3 hundreds"?!

Kohli is a class player. Still, 3 centuries from any batsmen in a series is exceptional, even in a 5-test series. But MORE than 3 is extremely rare - it's only been done twice in the last 30 years - so it's quite a bold step to add "at least" to that statement!

I think it just shows how much pressure the Indian team get put under by their own side.

Stats here:

Posted by android_user on (July 6, 2014, 19:59 GMT)

hopefhlly kohli will do will on ENG tour. but we should not forget india's away form. the match is between india's away form and England's current form. so hopefully we gona see best series of 2014

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 18:51 GMT)

@ Jaffa79 India has one of the best batting line up in the world. All the top order batsmen except Rohit Sharma, have scored centuries in either SA and NZ, or both. "looks all at sea whenever the ball bounces above stump high" not too sure about that, it applies more to England to India. While Indian batsmen owned Steyn, Morkel, Philander for most part of the SA tour, England struggled for survival against Johnson and co.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 17:52 GMT)

Its quite interesting to see the series. The most awaiting test series in my life.

Posted by shillingsworth on (July 6, 2014, 17:40 GMT)

Crass headline which completely fails to reflect the content of the video. 'Expecting 3 hundreds' is just a throwaway line amidst a balanced, considered analysis.

@Jaffa79 - Little or no evidence to support the description of either Kerrigan or Riley as 'front line spinners' at test level. Kerrigan had a chance an blew it spectacularly, Riley has yet to play a full season for his county.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 17:34 GMT)

Its quite interesting to see the series. The most awaiting test series in my life.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (July 6, 2014, 16:43 GMT)

Kohli is circumspect against swinging deliveries and so is Rahane. If there is swing on offer then we are in trouble. Only Pujara gives us confidence against swing as well as pace and bounce. Pace and bounce isn't a problem for Kohli and Rahane as well. I don't see three centuries for Kohli though there are technically 10 innings in the series. Most importantly, these Indian experts should get over their obsession for personal landmarks. I'm happy if India can consistently rake up 400+ totals with 40+ scores from most of their batsmen and a couple half-centurions followed by simple 2 and 3 wicket hauls from all our bowlers. As long as we win the series, I don't even care if there is no centurion or a five wicket haul for any Indian bowler. Simple as that!

Posted by Vinod_Fab on (July 6, 2014, 15:01 GMT)

I see Dhawan's importance here -- Needs to evade the New ball , then needs to attack as per his game and can change the course of game if IND tends to bowl ENG cheaply..!!..For me Dhawan and Dhoni holds key as in ENG they don't have an attacking opener and keeper's place is in jeopardy eventhough prior is playing well.. IMHO -- Dhawan , Dhoni , Ashwin(as ENG don't have any regular spinner),then any of the medium pace bowlers..!!.. SL did it so i don't see any difficulties for IND too..!!

Posted by raj3006 on (July 6, 2014, 14:49 GMT)

Dravid has hit 3 100's in his last tour in England and we know what was the result of that. If Kohli hit 3 100's also it will not guarantee the victory in England. The main thing is to hit big centuries like 200 or 300. Bcoz most matches in that series either of England player hit above 200(KP,Bell,Cook)

Posted by Greatest_Game on (July 6, 2014, 14:47 GMT)

Expect centuries from a lot of batsmen, not nay Kohli. Neither side has any decent bowling, and Eng are preparing "five day" tracks, also known as flat tracks. Eng tried did that in 2012. SA scored 632/2 declared, and still took all 20 Eng wickets. Sure, Smith, Amla & Kallis, in 1 innings, scored more than Eng did in 2 innings, nut that is because SA had the bowling to take 20 wickets! The batsmen scored big runs - the bowlers won the match!

Both sides can bat. The side that can put in some halfway decent bowling may win a test. Kohli may score 3 hundreds, but they will in all likelihood be in 5 drawn matches!

Even on flat tracks, against a depleted Eng attack, Rohit will still fail. Form is temporary, class is permanent, &

Posted by Nampally on (July 6, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

All 7 Indian batsmen got a critic on their strengths , weaknesses & abilities by Sanjay. But actual performance on the field will depend on their ability to exploit their strengths & avoiding weaknesses. For example Gambhir is a compulsive poker of the balls outside the off stump. Can he suddenly learn to cope with avoiding this addiction? Same can be said of Ishant Sharma in bowling- his addiction for bowling short of length all the time & more recently bowling down the leg side & No Balls. These 2 are Dhoni's favourites. Can India gamble with them in the XI? I have high hopes of Kohli & Pujara in batting & Kumar & Shami in bowing. Beyond these 4, the rest of the team needs to apply themselves to the task ahead & really show up if India is to be competitive. In my opinion, India missed including Uthappa & U. Yadev at the opening spot in batting & bowling. These 2 are currently in form & would have boosted Inda's reliability on "performers" from 4 to 6. Good Luck India,You need it!

Posted by ThePacifist10 on (July 6, 2014, 13:11 GMT)


I'd say we have a right to be confident about our batting. It has been prodigious over the last 20 months or so. I might be pushing it. Ok it's been very good. No major struggles with the short ball yet either. Steyn, Morkel, Boult and Southee didn't exactly terrify us, so I wouldn't expect England to surprise us. As if England don't have a short ball problem, SL and Aus completely messed you guys up with the short stuff!

Posted by tinkertinker on (July 6, 2014, 12:21 GMT)

Pitches will likely be dead and the indian top 6 will score runs but so what?

Test Cricket isn't just about batsmen belting runs on dead tracks, india's bats struggle on fast bowler friendly tracks and their bowlers struggle on pitches that suit the batsmen and until both those things change they won't win away.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (July 6, 2014, 11:55 GMT)

Wow! Lots of over confidence from India! I am surprised considering that the last two series have seen England wiping the floor with the Indians! The pitches should be fairly flat but it'll do a bit at Trent Bridge, as it always does and Old Trafford and the Oval will have some pace and bounce in them. England have skilful seamers to expose the Indian batting order, which usually looks all at sea whenever the ball bounces above stump high. I just hope England get the balance right and choose a frontline spinner (Riley or Kerrigan) to play alongside Jimmy, Broad, Plunkett and Stokes.

Posted by android_user on (July 6, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

vijay and rohit with Ishant are men too watch. Hopefully Pankaj gers a game

Posted by ladycricfan on (July 6, 2014, 10:57 GMT)

Dhoni should bat like he bats in the ODIs, that's when he is most effective. His 200 in chennai test was his most exciting innings. The way he batted energised the whole team and they went on to whitewash the Aussies 4-0.

Looking forward to see Dhoni's XI for the first test. Will Binny get his first test cap?

Posted by android_user on (July 6, 2014, 9:48 GMT)

batting was and will.never be a concern.for.India... ofcourse when you have a players like pujara, kohli, rahane who bats as though they are born to bat, how can they have week batting department.... personally I think gambir should be selected.over dhawan... and jadeja should play at 6 followed by rohit and dhoni..and ofcourse 5 will be rahane.....hoping for some double centuries and inflated averages after this series.... I can't hope for 5 wicket hauls from our bowlers, expecting that is like expecting tsunami in sahara desert.... let's hope this series is not bboring

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (July 6, 2014, 9:41 GMT)

Kohli is circumspect against swinging deliveries and so is Rahane. If there is swing on offer then we are in trouble. Only Pujara gives us confidence against swing as well as pace and bounce. Pace and bounce isn't a problem for Kohli and Rahane as well. I don't see three centuries for Kohli though there are technically 10 innings in the series. Most importantly, these Indian experts should get over their obsession for personal landmarks. I'm happy if India can consistently rake up 400+ totals with 40+ scores from most of their batsmen and a couple half-centurions followed by simple 2 and 3 wicket hauls from all our bowlers. As long as we win the series, I don't care even if there is no centurion or a five wicket haul for any Indian bowler. Simple as that!

Posted by pritamdas_circ on (July 6, 2014, 8:24 GMT)

Batting is not India's concern, I believe we have batting line up that can draw up to 3 Tests if our bowlers ditch us. I can't be optimistic about our bowling at all... most sensible prediction of this series for me is 1-0 or 1-1

Posted by Chaitanyareddy90 on (July 6, 2014, 7:59 GMT)

Now virat role is more importent in england. Virat can be avoid the fear in the team with his batting performence. In this series our biggest minus point is our openers,they can try at least given 50 partnership. If any opener fail i will prefer to saha as a opener.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 7:32 GMT)

Pujara has not been mentioned possibly becuase there is a seperate write up on him. Also Jadeja and Binny could have been mentioned here.If they play they play as allrounders but they would form a part of the middle order

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 6, 2014, 6:14 GMT)

@jimbond 2-3 hundreds only, i say 2 each for cook and bell, root and ballance should hit 100's too!! kohli and pujara definitely gonna score big, and anderson past his prime too, apart frm some really helpful track i can see him getting clobbered!! i suspect pitches gonna be slow so i say jadeja's gonna pick wickets!!

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 6:03 GMT)

It is a bit of a irony that one of India's best batsman is a bowler- R.Ashwin!!!

Posted by jimbond on (July 6, 2014, 5:52 GMT)

I did not see the '3 hundreds part in the text' though it figures in the title. I do not visualise too many hundreds for the Indian batsmen, and not too many for the English batsmen either. Two to three hundreds per team for the series is my guess. Likely candidates from the Indian side (for scoring hundreds) are Pujara and Rahane. I always thought that Kolhli, Sharma and Jadeja are slightly weak against the moving ball. And contrary to current discourse, the pitches will aid swing bowlers- not just any tom dick or harry, but the more skillful ones. This is what will distinguish Anderson from the rest of the crowd. And England is happy that Zaheer Khan is unfit and past his prime.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2014, 5:37 GMT)

@Arun. There is another column with India's top order.

Posted by landl47 on (July 6, 2014, 5:13 GMT)

So really, it's a bit of a waste of time England turning up at all?

Posted by android_user on (July 6, 2014, 4:18 GMT)

You haven't mentioned Pujara though..why?

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