The Indian cricket team, led by Rohit Sharma, faced a 28-run defeat against England in the series opener in Hyderabad. Despite securing a substantial 190-run lead, India couldn’t secure victory. England, with Ollie Pope’s impressive 196, set a target of 231 runs. In response, India managed 202 runs before being dismissed, with debutant spinner Tom Hartley taking 7 wickets for 62 runs.
Ahead of the second Test, England’s former cricketer Geoffrey Boycott has made a bold remark against Indian captain Rohit Sharma.
Before the second Test in Visakhapatnam, former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott has confidently predicted that India, missing key players like Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, and KL Rahul, is due for a series defeat at home in the purest format. Boycott expressed his belief that Indian captain Rohit Sharma is past his prime. India’s last Test series defeat at home in 2012/13 was against England, with the Alastair Cook-led side winning a four-match series 2-1 over MS Dhoni & Co.
In his column for The Telegraph, Boycott wrote: “India badly miss Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja has a hamstring injury and will not play the second Test. Their captain Rohit Sharma is nearly 37 and past his best. He makes pretty cameos but has scored only two Test hundreds at home in four years.”
Rohit Sharma needs 200 more runs to complete 4000 runs in Test cricket.
– One of the finest in this generation across all formats. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/TMGh0K6VOE
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 30, 2024
Boycott, known for his candid opinions, pointed out that India is facing a significant challenge without Virat Kohli, and with Ravindra Jadeja injured, the team’s strength looks diminished. He said:
“Jadeja is a huge blow. He is a great all-rounder, top bowler, brilliant fielder and was their best batsman in the first Test. Kohli is their talisman. He is a magnificent batsman who averages 60 on Indian pitches but he also gives them great energy in the field. He is a big loss and England must make the most of it before he comes back for the third Test.”
He added: “Once in a while a team are in the right place at the right time to clinch a big series win and England could be in that position right now in India. India are due a defeat at home, the signs are good as they have lost Kohli, Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Rishabh Pant and are playing opponents full of confidence after a remarkable win. England must take this rare opportunity,”
India faces a challenging task in the second Test against England, starting on Friday (Feb 2) in Vizag. Following an unexpected loss in the Hyderabad Test, the team, now with a less experienced squad, is under pressure to make a strong comeback.
India’s updated Squad for 2nd Test vs England:
Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (WK), Dhruv Jurel (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Avesh Khan, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Washington Sundar, Sourabh Kumar.