India in England 2014

'Excited' Kohli focused on his goals

Sidharth Monga in Nottingham

July 7, 2014

Comments: 72 | Text size: A | A
'Not targeting just one man' - Kohli

When India were losing all four Tests in England in 2011, Virat Kohli couldn't do anything about it, having not made the Test XI after a lacklustre tour of the West Indies. He used that setback as motivation, and came back a better batsman to become India's leading run-getter in Australia, where India failed miserably again. Kohli might come across as a brash youngster who would like to do things on his terms, but these traditional challenges matter more to him than he lets on.

When he made a bold statement on India's behalf with a century on the first day of the Test series in South Africa last year, Kohli spoke about how he had been thinking of, planning to, and visualising scoring hundreds in South Africa even when he was playing ODIs on flat tracks in India. He holds this England tour, he says, in the same regard.

"This is right up there with South Africa, Australia, New Zealand," Kohli said two days before the first Test at Trent Bridge. "And England, I would say, these are the four places where the subcontinent players do want to perform well and do target. I too have that in my mind. A pretty special place to play cricket."

Kohli spoke with appropriate respect for the challenge. "I'll be playing a Test at Lord's for the first time so all in all a very exciting tour for me personally because I have never played Test cricket here before. I am really looking forward to it. I have some goals I want to achieve, and I have been thinking about them. I am pretty excited about playing here, and it is right up there with the toughest venues for subcontinent players."


Cheteshwar Pujara embraces Virat Kohli after bringing up his hundred, South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 3rd day, December 20, 2013
Kohli: Him (Pujara) and me have got some good partnerships that have helped us get into stronger positions in Test matches © Associated Press
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They might not have played here before, but Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara are being talked of as the meat in the Indian batting line-up, and the two wickets that every bowling unit is targeting. Kohli said he and Pujara are conscious of that, but don't want to let expectations weigh them down.

"I think it is more important what we expect of ourselves," Kohli said. "Obviously people will expect things when you start performing, but you can't focus on that. Because then, firstly you put pressure on yourself, and secondly you drift away from what you want to do. If you think of what you expect from yourself, you stick to your plan. We'd rather stick to that.

"Obviously we realise that we both have performed consistently in Test cricket. We want to keep on going like that. Cheteshwar has been brilliant for us at No. 3 and a really solid player. Gives us that feeling of calm. Him and me have got some good partnerships that have helped us get into stronger positions in Test matches. We both realise that, but we aren't thinking too much into those things. You can't plan for things unless you are batting in the middle and you are set. And then you can dictate terms. Once you get going you start to think about that big partnership that changes the course of the game."

The horror of 2011 will follow India until such a time they have righted it. Kohli said they didn't need to think too much about that defeat. "We haven't spoken about what we did wrong in that series," Kohli said. "We've spoken about the positives we could take out of it. A guy who played brilliantly in that series, Rahul Dravid, is mentoring us right now, speaking about his experiences. That's a big plus. We can't focus on the things that went wrong. You don't want to think about them. That was a different time.

"Three years down the line, we have a totally new side. It's a very exciting time for us because most of us haven't played Test cricket here. It'll be exciting for us to experience the conditions and everyone's eager to go out there and see what it's like. We've heard a lot from senior players of how it's one of the best places in the world to play Test cricket. You get full crowds, everyone's involved in the game and everyone knows the game, so it's an exciting time for us. We don't want to think about the negatives of 2011. Obviously, we'd like to do well in the series. It's not about washing that [2011] off, erasing those memories. That will stay in the history books, whether we like it or not. All we can focus on is the new series we have here, and put in a strong performance which would be a starting point for this young team to go ahead and be a good quality Test side."

Kohli can get cheeky and feisty when talking about opposition - as he did after the "softened-up" caption next to his photo in South Africa - but he stayed away from mind games here. He did acknowledge that Graeme Swann will be a big miss, but he didn't consider it a huge advantage that England have already lost a series this season to Sri Lanka. Asked whether India were planning to follow Ravi Shastri's advice, to "go for" the under-pressure England captain Alastair Cook, Kohli sought to play down any of those plans.

"There's no one man that we're looking to target," Kohli said. "If we play aggressively as a unit, you would want everyone in the opposition to be out. You want to get every wicket possible. It's not about targeting one man in particular as far as I'm concerned. Personally I'm not preparing for a particular player to be bogged down too much or anything like that. If we play aggressively, we'll create problems for all the batsmen and that's going to be our target.

"I'm the same for everyone (smiles). I don't change my aggression towards a particular player. Whatever works for the team, I try to do that. That's something I'm pretty consistent in."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 7:26 GMT)

Murali Vijay, Shikar Dhawan cannot save or win matches in overseas conditions. Better have Gahmbir and try to save.

Posted by CricLover316 on (July 8, 2014, 17:39 GMT)

@ JG2704- Ha! I know mate. Arun seemed too angry at BellCurve's foolish comment ,it was almost funny. Just a little banter from my side as well.. Fans seem to get carried away with talking too much trash before any game. So, its not cool to go over the top. Anyway, think it will be a closely fought series. Both teams having some issues,India with the Bowling and will be stronger if they drop or Ishant sharma is injured in the nets for the better of India. England with an inexperienced but capable batting line up,so interesting to see what unfolds. Alsol will be important how fitness plays a role for Broad/Anderson to last 5 Tests. Still both teams need to get their balance right. 2-1 Either way for me.

Posted by SwamyCricketAnanda on (July 8, 2014, 10:42 GMT)

Kohli looks a more complete batsmen these days, and limited overs cricket seems to have actually helped him to do that. I feel he will really deliver at the big stage this series. Pujara and Kohli will form the backbone of Indian batting this summer.

Posted by Vilander on (July 8, 2014, 10:09 GMT)

With KP gone and Cook in bad form its just Bell/Root to worry about. But if Cook comes back to form then its done. For India Pakaj has to be played ahead of Ishant, Ishant can not bowl in unhelpful conditions at all.

Country with 1.2 billion people is an old argument, all 1.2 billion do not play cricket, if country with 1.4 billion China can not have a good football team then it makes sense that the number of players playing in highest level is what matters not the size of the country.

Posted by Vilander on (July 8, 2014, 10:02 GMT)

This Indian team has very few technical deficiencies they are not aging it a very good team and it will be a very tough proposition for England to beat them.

Posted by Vilander on (July 8, 2014, 9:59 GMT)

I see a lot of comments against M Vijay, he did well in SA and NZ i do not understand what is the problem here, Dhawan also did well in NZ.

Posted by fkhawaja on (July 8, 2014, 9:56 GMT)

though england are down but they havebeen playing tests and India have come after a long break in tests. IPL has been on for ever. all indians are in t20 mode. they will have a tough time in tests.

Posted by wapuser on (July 8, 2014, 9:23 GMT)

@Jamie Moneghan India have won only one icc trophy less than aussies,so nothing to brag about your cabinet,in the last 4 tournaments we have racked up 21 wins and only 3defeats,how many matches did you win against test playing nations in the last 2 tourneys and yes come back when you finally win a test in India since2004 W0 L8 D2..

Posted by gimme-a-greentop on (July 8, 2014, 9:13 GMT)

Kohli, Pujara and Rahane batted really well on the SA tour against a proven attack. I would enjoy seeing them thrive in English conditions. If Vijay doesn't get going Gambhir might suprise a few people with his resolve. He is past his prime, but you need those grafters in Test cricket. He at least will add some steel.

Posted by hassubaby on (July 8, 2014, 9:12 GMT)

I think England is at their lowest and India will probably win the series based on their batting. Their bowling very benign in general but with medium pace bowlers they can maybe get that extra swing and trouble the english batsmen. I would really love Kohli to smash Stuart Broad!

Best Wishes, From Pakistan

Posted by Herath-UK on (July 8, 2014, 9:09 GMT)

There is no reason why India should not do well; all he ingredients are put in place for them. Sun is on their back, there will be a huge crowd in the grounds enjoying the sun giving a lovely atmosphere than a dismal early summer and most of all Sri Lanka have made he road ready for them just to canter along. Put a big score & the bowlers will pounce on a team with low morale now.

Posted by   on (July 8, 2014, 8:55 GMT)

England must be battle hardened after a hard faught test series against SL. That defeat must be motivating them to perform harder. With India's b grade quality bowling, we are in for some pounding. Bet you, Indian players don't have the stomach to fight hard like Lankans did in the 1st test, england in 2nd test and SA did in their last test against Australia. Series to England 3-0.

Posted by ramli on (July 8, 2014, 8:08 GMT)

@Qa-ankit ... slip-catching is vital for making early inroads into Eng batting ... you don't expect to take many catches on the boundary line in tests ... also loss of KP can be neutralized by some combined batting show ... Cook's form is immaterial as long as others perform ...India young guns untested in Eng ... India bowlers just new ... no worthy India spinner yet in overseas conditions ... all point to a tough series ahead ... just who blinks and how many times will determine the outcome

Posted by welcome_views on (July 8, 2014, 7:49 GMT)

I am fore seeing Cook hitting the form back ...the way India gifted the form to Ricky Pointing in 2011 series before which he was in horrible form and went into the series with the fear of getting axed from Aus team.

Being a true fan I will still pray that team india ensures the continuation of nightmares for Cook

Posted by JG2704 on (July 8, 2014, 7:38 GMT)

@Arun Bose on (July 7, 2014, 17:32 GMT) Please explain your stance on cricket history and what it means? On another thread you went to huge lengths to say that history etc means nothing but here you are talking about history and mentioning a one off over in a totally different format of the game where one of our bowlers was hit for 6x6.

While I feel Bellcurve's comms were unnecessary in tone there will be Indian cricket fans who will agree that the team's away form is something that should be of concern - and no I'm not saying they can't beat England here.

Posted by imtiazjaleel on (July 8, 2014, 7:30 GMT)

The teams looks in balance, nobody starts as favorites, thats what makes it more interesting. The pressure is on both sides. India with their last series loss and Eng thrashed by Australia and beaten by SL. If Eng would have won the series against SL 2-0 comprehensively, then India could feel the pressure but now they can relax a bit.

Posted by soumyas on (July 8, 2014, 7:17 GMT)

After this tour, India should look ahead of Dhawan,Vijay,Rohit, too many chances have been given and they have wasted it. they are good enough to play T20s and IPLs but not TEST cricket. Better to give chances to Nair and K.Rahul.

Posted by Qa_ankit on (July 8, 2014, 6:48 GMT)

There are few reasons why i feel India will do a lot better than 2011 tour. 1.) For obvious reasons, sheer dominance of KP is missing. He took away two games from India in two sessions or so in last two tours of England. (2011 and 2012 India tour) 2.) Cook: He is not in good form. So his resilience is not that much. Hope India wont gift his form back to him. 3.) India are coming with back up's this time. Partly India played with 3 bowlers in 1st two test which dented them badly. 4.) These young players may get out early, but likes of Dhawan, Rohit, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli.. They are really dangerous on their given day. 5.) Fielding is better than last series. (Only concern is slip with Laxman and Dravid missing) 6.) Bowlers: I really feel except of Zaheer khan miss, they are better than 2011 series line up.

Hence i predict a good Indian series this but still anything can happen in cricket. So figures crossed.

Posted by   on (July 8, 2014, 6:36 GMT)

Can India emulate the Lankans, and win in all three formats? Climate is better now than in May/June, but Poms I am sure are not going to let Indians repeat what Lankans did. So this will be a good contest. Indians are not that great playing the seamers, and i am pretty sure the ground curators will not make hard pitches sans grass, and i bet there will be green tops where Anderson and Broad & Co will do better than Indians. My guess is that will be a close encounter of first kind.

Posted by truecric_fan on (July 8, 2014, 6:29 GMT)

Golden Opportinity for India to crush England. Cook is out of form, no KP, Anderson and Broad are over the hill and Indian steamers typically bowl well in English conditions. Kohli batting genius will be a scourge for England.

Posted by   on (July 8, 2014, 5:51 GMT)

Kohli Pujara and Rahane..men to watchout for the tour..

Posted by fiddlerv90 on (July 8, 2014, 5:24 GMT)

People should stop declaring the current indian pace attack as weak before the 1st test. If y'all are judging them based on their pratice match then y'all have no idea of what is at stake. Practice matches gives nothing for one to judge especially since players were under no compulsion to play an attacking game. come wednsday it'll be a different ball game. Shami & bhuvi can wipe away both cook& robnson with their swing in the 1st 10 overs. I still don't think cook has whatever it takes to resume his late lost form against swinging balls. but however i do believe in ENG young players+ bell.

At the same time, ENG would only need 3 wickets(pujara,kohli&rahane) to be on the driving seat. MS dhoni and his bowlers gives little with the bat for the team to cheer about.

My prediction is 2-1 to India. All de way From SAffa!

Posted by Raju_Iyer on (July 8, 2014, 5:04 GMT)

to Happy_hamster : FACT - India can never win the Ashes...they don't play them, silly !! And as for winning a series vs. England in England, Yes, India has won in 1971, 1986 and 2007. Now don't tell me you were thinking of India winning a series vs. Australia (in Australia) - which they haven't - but I just don't see how that statistic is relevant to a India England series...

Posted by aby_97 on (July 8, 2014, 4:45 GMT)

With all the hype around Kohli and Pujara, I would place my bets on RAHANE and BINNY, if hes is considered in the playing XI..

RAHANE's mental strength is very strong.You can see that when he got his hundred against NZ, he just took off his helmet; closed his eyes and soaked in the feeling and took a deep breath and then went on to play the next ball.So, his hunger to prove his mettle is at it's optimum level.

While BINNY himself wouldn't have known he could bowl so well against bangladesh.And what that has done is gave him confidence.The confidence that he lacked in his bowling, and with that the Captain MSD also showed faith by giving him more opportunities in practice matches.And his batting also looks improved.

So PUJARA, RAHANE and BINNY are the players to watch out this series.

While Kohli might be a good player but he still hasn't shown his mental strength to bat long.WHat Sri Lanka did in the series is to WAIT, WAIT AND WAIT... That is what India should do.

Posted by   on (July 8, 2014, 4:23 GMT)

Key Points for Indian team to dominate in this series : 1. England must be bowled out under 350 so Play 5 bowlers ( shami, Bhuvi, Varun , binny/pankaj/ishant, jadeja).Varun must play to unsettle the batsmen even if he is hammered for runs and should be used in short spells to bowl fast bouncers.Binny and Jadeja to bowl consistent line and length to get wickets or create pressure to help other fast bowlers. Shami and Bhuvi need not to do anything different to get wickets. 2. Indian batters will do better if opposition scores are not in excess of 350 which will ease the pressure to score big. Dhoni , jadeja and Binny(if included) must play in ONE DAY MODE irrespective of match situation. 20s or 30s from them are good enough to put 200+ on board even if top orders fails ( top five will definitely score 100 altogether in worst case scenario).A good inning from kohli/pujara at top or dhoni/jadeja/Binny at down the order will be good enough to win with little contribution of others.

Posted by DC75 on (July 8, 2014, 3:53 GMT)

Kohli will do good so will Pujara but rest of the batting is not that strong, Vijay is at best inconsistent, Dhawan cannot score when the ball swings. I doubt we will have good start to any innings meaning more pressure on middle order, if England were to get in to middle and lower middle order quickly as in the last series, we are in for long toturous series. Lot of fans say that England batting is brittle, I doubt that - Cook is due for some runs and against a bowling attack that cannot hurry or swing out the batsman, it is a cake walk for him and Bell. Moeen, Ballance and Root are good batsman as they have shown against SL. Add to that Indian bowling cannot dislodge lower middle order after taking down 5-6 wickets, it means Prior will do well with Broad and rest of the tail. I see a tough series ahead and England winning 3-0 or may be 2-1. If we do win a test match in England then it will be a great result for us;

Posted by   on (July 8, 2014, 3:31 GMT)

well being a Pakistani , watching India play in foreign pitches has always been a pleasure....the reasons are obvious , India has a great batting team and i would expect a couple of batsmen two play historic innings , the problem i see is that the other players don't contribute especially the lower order and the tail...the last 5 should score 150+ to turn a 300-350 score to a 450-500 score which can be crucial in this day and age as even 400 is not a safe score for the first innings....i can assure you that there will be amazing innings by Indian batsmen , that's for sure no questions asked but will they be able seize the advantage when they can or will they die out as we have seen previously ?? another aspect is india's weak bowling attack...they bowl well when the other team is on the backfoot but as soon as the other team attacks , they seem to lose ther footing...it can only be improved by strengthening their character as bowlers...All in all a great test series..

Posted by SANATP22 on (July 8, 2014, 3:22 GMT)

Kholi and Pujara is key for India, Both need to score 500 Runs in this series to complaint with England side. First Innings India need to be at-lest 350 Runs in each TEST match. Blowers need to blow tight line & length. Hope Indian atlest draw this test series.

Posted by The.Ghost.Of_K.P. on (July 8, 2014, 2:02 GMT)

I would think Bell would be more of a target than Cook, as he has been the one holding the team together and Bell does have a soft underbelly if you know how to tickle it.

Posted by B.R.K.R on (July 8, 2014, 1:57 GMT)

I really hope dhoni & and his men do well, dhoni has been an amazing captain over the years and has made the indian team play together as a unit instead of relying on individual performances. Considering the world cup to be held next year, i hope dhoni provides more chances to players like sanju samson, karun nair who have shown both talent and temperament in domestic cricket and ipl.

Posted by Happy_hamster on (July 8, 2014, 1:48 GMT)

I was going to write a post about this being about tests and the inane reference to ODI's and T20 victories (apart form England's T20 WC which for some reason doesn't count) is liking comparing to apples and oranges; then I remembered it is the inferiority complex thing, India has never won the Ashes FACT.

Posted by JiminyCricket1969 on (July 8, 2014, 1:10 GMT)

India have good cause to be excited England have a bloody nose and are down on one knee. Since the last Ashes they have been shown to be brittle so much so that they are vulnerable even at home.

Posted by wapuser on (July 8, 2014, 0:15 GMT)

No doubt Kholi is the player to guide India to pile up reasonable score. India will be lucky if he is in good touch. Except some extent to Pujara others may not convincing outside subcontinent. England has good chance to bounce back if Cook rotate his resources correctly. This is interesting series to see how both team are going with some young faces.

Posted by draconianguy on (July 7, 2014, 22:44 GMT)

I think England are kidding themselves this is going to be a walkover: that India batting lineup is formidable, and the bowlers are a good bit better than painted. I'd love to be proven wrong (I support England except when they're playing Scotland or Ireland!), but . . .

Posted by jb633 on (July 7, 2014, 21:22 GMT)

He will annihilate this popgun English attack on low, slow, lifeless surfaces. Watching the way my country is going about trying to rebuild is actually a chore. India have the better youngsters, all the flair and I think will win this series easily.

Posted by landl47 on (July 7, 2014, 21:09 GMT)

Kohli is a fine young batsmen and is going to end up as one of the greats of the game. Pujara is also a very solid player with a terrific temperament for test cricket. No argument that those two are going to score a lot of runs.

The rest of the line-up is less impressive. Dhawan started his test career very strongly, but has looked vulnerable since. He seems to be either in really good form or no form at all. Vijay and Rahane have some good days but are inconsistent. Dhoni is a great short-format player, but seems to lack the concentration for test cricket. The allrounders haven't had a lot of success in tests with the exception of Ashwin, who seems to be out of form and out of favour. Ishant can bowl rubbish at times, but when he gets wickets tends to get them in bunches. I think Bhuvi and Shami will do well in English conditions.

England is a very young side in test terms, but they were clearly better than Sri Lanka except on one disastrous day. It's an evenly balanced series.

Posted by Sexysteven on (July 7, 2014, 20:56 GMT)

Aggresive Kholi needs to give that word to his captain unless dhoni knows what that word means the rest of the tem cant much even if they r aggressive I have no doubt Kholi would be amore aggressive and better captain then dhoni it's just his nature to be positive so there's Indias answer to its captaincy issues it might take afive nil drubbing to get rid of dhoni as captain if that's the case then I hope that happens cos for the good of world cricket we need to get rid of boring negative defensive unimaginative captains like Cook and dhoni

Posted by Prof_Chaos on (July 7, 2014, 19:47 GMT)

Will be closely fought series. India has issues with lack of bite in their bowling but Englishmen are fighting their own issues around cook's form and captaincy. Ian Bell hasnt produced a match wining knock in a long time either and KP is gone. Neither of these teams are in class of SA or Aus in test cricket at this moment. I see this series be 2-1 going India's way.

Posted by perl57 on (July 7, 2014, 19:39 GMT)

No team is favourite. But Indians must remember that this was a team which went into Ashes as the favourite to win 5-0 and came out 0-5. So anything can happen. Personally I think Indians are still not favourites. BUt, if they can draw the series then it is a great achievement for us and huge set back for Eng.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 19:10 GMT)

Ishant sharma leading Indian attack that can not be explained Dont know what special bowler he is to get so many opportunities he knows just to ball one delivery that is short and wide nothing else

Posted by JG2704 on (July 7, 2014, 19:07 GMT)

Kohli is the future of Indian cricket and surely a future captain.

His pre series comments the last time England toured England sounded more like a boxer trash talking to hype a fight and sounded a little juvenile and eventually came back to haunt him. He seems to have matured in the last 18 months and is more letting his cricket do the talking. I'm not sure about just looking on the positives as the negatives need addressing also but he speaks in a fiercely determined manner but not one that comes across as trashy. For this series I don't think India are a better side than when they last toured - results would suggest that anyway - but I think England were absolutely at their peak the last time India toured and are nowhere near as good as they were that series. Maybe there was also a little complacency too from India. Hard to read too much into both team's last series. It could be that both teams carry the baggage from it but then it could also make both more determined

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 18:40 GMT)

@Arun Bose. With your constant stats nonsense. Come back when your country has won 4 world cups ( unbeaten through 2 entire tournaments ) 3 Champions trophy's , record 16 Test wins in a row. All you do is hate on anyone who says anything against India , think you need the help! Remember the World Cup final in 2003?

Posted by JG2704 on (July 7, 2014, 18:35 GMT)

@CricLover316 on (July 7, 2014, 18:09 GMT) And then Broad destroyed India last time Yuvi and co were here. Which is more relevant - a T20 from further in the past or a more recent test series. Neither are that relevant but if the T20 is relevant a more recent test series is more relevant?

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 18:23 GMT)

@Arun Bose. Your a pretty angry upset sounding guy lol. Listen to you shouting all the stats about England etc , well come back when your country has won 4 world cups ( unbeaten through 2 entire tournaments) 3 champions trophy's , record 16 test wins in a row . You remember the 2003 World Cup final?

Posted by CricLover316 on (July 7, 2014, 18:09 GMT)

@Arun Bose - "Yuvi made him look like a spinner in front of whole world. "- Lol.. Thats gold. Hey, but atleast Eng can win the Ashes.. We(other countries) cant. So he wins there. He thinks capturing the Ashes is all that matters. England dont even have that.Aussies are keeping it for a long time,Sorry. And Yes I dont see Indian fans talking so much nonsense about England as the otherway around. Atleast we know our weaknesses. If India had better selections like Yadav,Ojha/Mishra,Kumar instead of "legend" Ishant/Ash/Binny, they would have had better chances of winning. But I still think they slightly ahead even with a decent bowling attack. Out of the last 4 Tests, 3 were in India's grasp,but they couldn't finish the job,but it would be foolish to say they weren't in the driver seat. England did worse and somehow managed to lose the game from the winning position. Credit to Lanka. If India can bowl decently,they could win this series. No team is favourite.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

Am a SL who is a huge fan of both Kohli & Pujara. Kohli to me is well on the way to being the best batsman in the world, and am certain that he will strengthen this view with some sterling performances against England. India will rack up huge scores against ENG and scoreboard pressure is gonna tell on the inexperienced ENG Batting and will cover up for any weaknesses in the IND bowling lineup.Am betting that by end of this series Alastair Cook's captaincy will be history. India to win 2.0 or better.

Posted by CricLover316 on (July 7, 2014, 17:36 GMT)

I hope Indian Bowling is underestimated,that would give them more of a chance. Eng do have an inexperienced batting attack. Cook,Bell,Root and Prior are few exceptions. SL bowled brilliantly,but that was the same attack that gave away 300+ Runs in 50 overs on the last day of UAE Test Match. against Pak or couldnt pick 20 Bd Wickets in a Test Match giving 350 odd for 5 IIRC.Ish will be played,thats a big minus for India.His experience is useless.A flash in the pan good spell doesnt mean he has bowled better in a game.He went from a good spell on the greenest of pitches to an absolute worst spell of bowling you'll see in a matter of Innings in the same match. Others have improved,he shouldn't even be in the Squad. Somebody explain his 55 Tests to me. Pandey,Pankaj and Aaron should make their debuts.But cant see our Captain dropping his "Ace" bowler. Ind should play with 5 Specialist Bowlers(less Ishant),it is the best case for India. But I know he wont be dropped. Good Luck.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 17:32 GMT)

@BellCurve- What England has done in cricket? Couldn't win a single world cup yet(except T20 wc, We won the first one itself).. We have beaten you black and blue many times in many tournaments in many countries.. You're a pathetic psychotic loser, You know nothing abt cricket.. England has achieved nothing in cricket and you're talking big..on what basis? You invented the game but we beat you in ur own game.. Don't you think that's embarrasing enough? Remember the natwest final 2002? Remember how two youngsters of India made ur bowlers bow down on their knees? Remember dejected flintoff after that 6 sixes over of broad? What a fast bowler he is..Getting hit for six sixes in one over..Yuvi made him look like a spinner in front of whole world.

Posted by ak928 on (July 7, 2014, 17:06 GMT)

to spintl.......

mark vaughan said sl bowling attack is poor and cant take 20 wickets...........but eng lost the series to sl my dear............but then also some people dont learn lessons.(like spintl)..... .....indian bowling attack is good...............cant be taken lightely.........so plz dont say eng will win.......india will compete....and will win hopefully

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

My gut feeling is India will do well. If Sri Lanka can then India can definitely do well against this County like demoralised English side. Hope our bowlers fire well. Batsmen will surly do. Fingers crossed.

Posted by CricLover316 on (July 7, 2014, 16:56 GMT)

@JustIPL- What are you talking about ? This does not even any make sense. Do check his Record in Tests,it has got better and better. He has adopted in the overseas conditions like a duck to water. Even Pujara didn't have a great NZ Series by his standards. While Kohli had good scores throughout the tour. The good thing is he is focused and has been in tremendous form. I'm not counting IPL or how his Test Career started,why should I ? Pressure on him? Are you saying he is in bad form. Really ? Like you saw him net session & said "Hmm.. Not good". Some fans just want to criticize him for anything.Pressure should be on other players,Kohli is India's Best Bat. Why shouldn't he be excited ? Its his 1st England tour and he wants to perform whats wrong ? Geez.. Now us(Fans) will tell him what he should or shouldn't get excited about ?

India should have specialist fielders in the slip, Jadeja,Kohli shouldn't be there. Vijay/Rahane/Dhawan/Pujara can be tried out. As PrinceOfSalem pointed out.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 16:51 GMT)

just one advice..dont drop catches in slips. thats the only area which would hurt badly. have confidence in the current lot to turn the tables this time around if they can grab to whatever is thrown at them!

Posted by spintl on (July 7, 2014, 16:44 GMT)

Oh.. don't worry about our batting... it is our bowling that should be the concern.. they will bring Cook & company back to form.. Mark my words, Cook will score 3-4 centuries and every 1st wkt will be a hundred partnership... Indian bowling CANNOT take 20 wickets.. India will lose the test series 0-2 (rain & batsman will save them)...

Posted by Jimmyvida on (July 7, 2014, 16:29 GMT)

I hope batsmen like Rohit have been practicing to play late against the swinging ball. If not, he hasn't learnt anything from the tours of SA and NZ.

Posted by samincolumbia on (July 7, 2014, 16:25 GMT)

The biggest problem with Kohli and the young guns are dropped catches. These drops have hurt India very badly and I have lost count of the number of times India have slipped from winning/strong positions in SA, NZ etc. His 'excitement's gets the better of him when he is fielding in Tests. Lots have been said of India's bowling, but unless Kohli and the rest cannot hold on to simple catches, we are not going to win any tests.

Posted by nlight on (July 7, 2014, 16:07 GMT)

India's team looks better than in 2011, whilst England's looks worse. It could be as close as the series against Sri Lanka. I'm certainly worried about how many runs Kohli & Pujara will make on good wickets.

Posted by JustIPL on (July 7, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

What he is excited about as his contributions have been frail in the near past in tests even on the flat tracks. Even in the low intensity net sessions he remained off color where he got out in both outings. I will not try to find a clue about his form from IPL games as it will be totally misleading. Pressure is on Kohli like it was on Sehwag, Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid before where only Dravid could survive. He has to score brisk runs if India have any chance of getting through here which is huge pressure on Kohli and at-least not a reason to be excited.

Posted by Nampally on (July 7, 2014, 15:59 GMT)

It is a totally different team from 2011 except for Dhoni & Gambhir. The batting & bowling line up is built round new talent headed by Kohli & Pujara in batting & Kumar & Shami in Bowling. If you see the world Test batting averages for the past 3 years, both Pujara & Kohli figure in the top 10. India relies on them for their batting success. Kumar & Shami may not have the pace of Broad & Anderson but they are both effective swing bowlers in 135 KPH range. They are capable of taking wkts. Ishant, Pandey Pankaj & Aaron will be the 3rd pacers by rotation. Indian opening bats, Vijay & Dhawan need to perform by giving India a good start. If they do India is capable of 400 Total. Hopefully this batting will ban poking of balls outside the off stump, which caused all the problems in 2011. That is a crucial factor fir batting success. Correct positioning of slips & taking edged catches is second major factor. Can India play with discipline, patience & dedicated effort to win? Yes, they CAN!

Posted by ak928 on (July 7, 2014, 15:57 GMT)

Root and ballance are also very good players............so it will not be only about kohli...pujara etc......looking forward to a great contest

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (July 7, 2014, 15:56 GMT)

@BellCurve: This whole population thing of India is getting boring. Indians are some of the most enterprising, intelligent, brave and smart people in the world. Oh and not to mention, the MASTERS of CULTURE. There are way too many things Indians are better at which the English or any westerners aren't. So stop bringing such petty things into a cricket website. This is about two cricket teams so talk about that. Speaking of cricket, India has won MANY ODI championships, won the World Cup twice and also featured in the finals of many of those competitions. What has England done in its 100+ years of cricket history ? All you guys care about is winning the Ashes against the same opposition.

Posted by Ramseer on (July 7, 2014, 15:51 GMT)

He is brilliant at point, but not a good slip fielder

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 15:43 GMT)

I think England will win the series off their bowlers as there attack is far better and more disciplined to cope, but I'd expect players like Kholi and Pujara to be up there at the end of the series for most runs in the series as both seriously good. Just cannot see India's attack being able to win them matches as they couldn't bowl NZ out in bowler friendly conditions. India has to win atleast 1 of the first two tests or it could be a long long series again for them.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (July 7, 2014, 15:36 GMT)

@BellCurve: Let me ask you something, how much do you dwell on your past failures in your life ? I mean.. like when you wake up each day, do you always allow past failures to influence your present ? If the answer is yes, I feel sorry for you. If the answer is no; then you have become Mr. Contradiction yourself. These young Indian players DO NOT care about what happened in the past. They are champions who have tasted enough success in limited overs cricket. Now, they are trying to turn this boring format of test cricket into excitement galore. As Indian fans, we are all pumped at this tour. England are down and now is the time to hit them hard. With this bunch of players, I am sure India will do something great this series.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 15:33 GMT)

@Bell curve who invented cricket the never won a world cup yet, not even one icc trophy except kp's brillance bought t20 worldcup and india who won all icc events nd u r commenting on india lol

Posted by PrinceOfSalem on (July 7, 2014, 15:32 GMT)

I second the comments from one fellow commentor. Kohli will succeed as a batsman. He will be our trumpcard along with pujara. But I have serious concerns with our slip fielding. We are blessed to have had Dravid/Laxman/Ganguly 1st/2nd/3rd slip and kumble at gully. (sehwag -occasional 1st slip). They were outstanding (even for ganguly and kumble's lack of athleticism) they took some fantastic and key catches. I would ask kohli to stay away at least 20 years away from slip. He is fantastic on the cocers not at slip. From the current team I would put Vijay/Rahane/Jadeja. They are by far the safest if india bowlers do induce the edged we need slips to catch it.

Posted by Lonely_At_Cow_Corner on (July 7, 2014, 15:30 GMT)

@BellCurve, Agreed India has not proven itself in Test cricket. But what are you trying to imply with a name like BellCurve? We all know what it means. Not a healthy state of mind.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 15:29 GMT)

Don't forget Rahane. Kohli, Pujara and Rahane are the future of Indian Test cricket!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (July 7, 2014, 15:26 GMT)

A world class player way better than ALL English batsmen put together. He alone can put England in trouble. Wishing him a wonderful and memorable test series. Will definitely catch hold of the highlights whenever I find time. Good luck Cheekoo.

Posted by sensation on (July 7, 2014, 14:50 GMT)

He is a world class player without any doubt but this is his 1st tour of england to play test cricket which is a challenge for him but he has already perform in south africa and australia against world best bowling attack so i don't think so it will be difficult for him to perform here.. but every day is a new day you have to stick with your basics to perform.. hope he along with pujara and rest will perform better then their last tour and we hope to see exciting test cricket..

Posted by BellCurve on (July 7, 2014, 14:49 GMT)

It should be on your minds. You have not won anything in SA, Eng, Aus or NZ. For a country with 1.2 billion people, most of whom are cricket mad, it is simply not good enough.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 14:45 GMT)

Pujara is a person every team would want. He can drop anchor like no one can and he can push that anchor with progressive rate as well.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2014, 14:44 GMT)

the problem is with kohli -- the fileder he drops to many catches !!! he dropped bmac and lost the series

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