India captain Rohit Sharma got a lot of heat from the fans for his “bizarre” captaincy during the first 20 overs of England’s first innings in the ongoing second Test match in Visakhapatnam (Vizag).
India had been bowled out for what was clearly an under-par score in Visakhapatnam, 396, and then the bowlers conceded runs from England’s top three at a rapid rate. Rohit Sharma’s field placements and tactics made him look “clueless” and “too defensive” – a criticism which was levied on him in the loss in the first Test match in Hyderabad as well.
In Vizag, captain Rohit Sharma and India didn’t seem to have any answers to stop Bazball which was in full flow from openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett. And it needed a stunning, extraordinary catch from Shreyas Iyer to end the onslaught from Crawley, who scored 76 runs in 78 balls, blasting 11 fours and 2 sixes in his eye-catching innings. Before him, Duckett had rattled four boundaries during his brief but intimidating knock of 21 runs in 17 balls and was dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav to a ball that bounced extra.
India could have ended Zak Crawley’s innings much earlier had Rohit kept his leg-slip finer – as England did with Rohit’s dismissal yesterday.
After Duckett’s dismissal came in Ollie Pope, the man who played one of the best innings by a visiting batsman in India in the previous Test match. Once again, as he did at the start of his innings in Hyderabad, Pope looked iffy and unsure.
Rohit then shockingly kept multiple men in the deep, giving away easy singles, in particular to long-on to Pope, when he should have been more aggressive by placing a silly point and short leg.
Fans were left baffled by Rohit Sharma’s bizarre captaincy:
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India (Playing XI): Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Rajat Patidar, Srikar Bharat(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mukesh Kumar
England (Playing XI): Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes(c), Ben Foakes(w), Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir, James Anderson