Saturday, October 31, 2020
Home Sports Shaky openers, unreliable lower middle order and the curious case of Hardik Pandya

Shaky openers, unreliable lower middle order and the curious case of Hardik Pandya

As Umpire Bruce Oxenford raised his finger to signal the end of the fourth test match between India and England, it confirmed yet another defeat for India in an overseas series that promised so much at times. Ashwin could have survived if there was any review left but that would have just delayed the inevitable by a few deliveries. India lost the series with one more to go.

Earlier, India had plenty of opportunities to win in South Africa before letting the home team get away, and the story was repeated in England this summer.

87 for 7, 131 for 5, 86 for 6 are scores that every Indian fan will remember for a very long time. Each time, India had an opportunity, each time they found an English all-rounder slamming the door shut on them. It was Curran in the first test, Woakes in the second test and then Curran again in the last test in the company of Moeen in the 1st innings and Buttler in the 2nd.

With the bat, England top order may have been very ordinary but with the ball, they have constantly asked questions to the Indian batsmen who have struggled to come up with the answers. Opening partnership has become a big problem for Kohli and Shastri; two half century partnerships at Trent Bridge apart, England have always managed to find a breakthrough early on to put pressure on the middle order of Pujara, Kohli and Rahane.

None of the three openers tried during this series has managed to cross 50 leaving the big scoring to the middle order. Among the alternatives to replace the openers tried in England, Mayank Agarwal is in good touch with the A team and Prithvi Shaw has been included in the squad already, but will India take a raw opener to Australia, the most brutal of away tours?

The major difference between the two sides has been the batting of the lower middle order. While Buttler, Curran, Woakes and even Rashid have made significant contributions, Karthik, Pant, Pandya and Ashwin have not been able to make their opportunities count with the bat. Pandya did hit a half century at Trent Bridge but by then, England was just bowling for a declaration.

The first innings at Southampton was a painful reminder of the fragility of Indian middle order as a dominant position for India turned into a position of strength for England when Moeen Ali went through the Indian batsmen in a span of a few overs. Pujara still managed to give India the lead in Ishant and Bumrah’s company but the advantage was already lost.

Hardik Pandya is a key man in that Middle Order and is obviously a player Virat Kohli has a lot of faith in. He has been ever present in the squad this year while every other player apart from Kohli has been dropped once, including a fit Bhuvi.

Pandya had a great Trent Bridge Test where he ran through the English side with the ball and contributed with the bat but questions still remain over his place in the side. At Southampton, He bowled 17 overs for 85 runs and 1 wicket, and contributed 4 runs while his counterpart, Sam Curran, made game changing contributions for England. While anyone can have a bad Test, they are coming too frequently for Pandya. Yet, Kohli seems to have total faith in his all-rounder and he continues to be an integral part of the squad as India looks forward to the Australian tour during the Indian winter.

There will obviously be changes for the Final Test because playing the same XI in three consecutive Tests will be too much of a leap for Virat but who is likely to come in. Give young Shaw an opportunity at the Oval? Play six specialist batsmen and give Vihari a look in? Jadeja instead of Ashwin? Can DK get a final chance over Pant?

Whatever they decide, one thing is for sure, Pandya will definitely be in that line-up.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Sandeep Kadian
Sports, Satire, Politics, Golgappa.

Related Articles

Trending now

Who is Farhan Zuberi, now booked for threatening to behead people for insulting Islam: Here is his connection to AMU, AIMIM and anti-CAA violence

Farhan Zuberi is also an office-bearer of Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM. he is currently the in-charge of the party's youth wing in Western Uttar Pradesh.

Mend ways, or ‘Ram Naam Satya’ journey will begin: Yogi Adityanath cautions those who change religious identity to trap women, vows law against Love...

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday issued a stern warning to the miscreants indulging in love jihad by concealing their identities and entrapping girls and women in their relationship.

‘Osama bin Laden is less reprehensible than Trump,’ claims ‘rational atheist’ Sam Harris who once described the terrorist as a ‘moral hero in a...

Sam Harris claimed in his podcast Making Sense that Osama bin Laden is a less reprehensible person than Donald Trump.

IFCN certified fact-checking website throws a Hindu girl to wolves in Bangladesh in case where she went missing after alleged ‘insult’ to Prophet Muhammad:...

Despite being well aware that lives of Hindus are threatened in Bangladesh, newschecker.in has given way for Tithy's harassment.

The Second Republic: Why Narendra Modi drawing a comparison between Somnath Temple and Ram Mandir on Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is significant

The birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the 31st of October is commemorated as the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.

Hindu girl, who was suspended from Bangladesh university for ‘insulting’ Prophet Muhammad, has been missing for 6 days: Here is what happened

Hindu girl Tithy Sarkar goes missing in Bangladesh after allegedly making comments that insulted Prophet Muhammad and Islam

Recently Popular

Tauseef, who was harassing and forcing Nikita to convert to Islam, decided to kill her after watching web series ‘Mirzapur’: Report

During the interrogation, the accused Tauseef confessed to the police officials that he was inspired by the character of 'Munna' in the Mirzapur webseries.

As Pakistan minister admits role in Pulwama attack, Rajdeep Sardesai rushes to his rescue, allows him to ‘clarify’, attack India instead, NDTV follows suit

India Today and NDTV come together to rescue Pakistan minister Fawad Chaudhry after he admitted Terroristan's role in Pulwama attack

Russia: Teenager shot dead after he shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’ and stabs police officer

On Friday, a 16-year-old terrorist was shot dead by police in the Muslim-dominated region of Tatarstan in Russia.

The Print columnist Zainab Sikander Siddiqui wants Charlie Hebdo to have the “guts” to mock the Holocaust if it wants to publish cartoons on...

Zainab Sikander Siddiqui ruled that Charlie Hebdo cartoons mocking other religions are not offensive, only cartoons on Islam are offensive

AMU student leader Farhan Zuberi calls for the beheading of those who insult Islam, justifies his statement on Live TV

Amidst the terror attacks in France and global call of Muslims to boycott French products over the Charlie Hebdo row AMU student Farhan Zuberi justifies beheading of individuals who dares to dishonour Prophet Muhammad

Hindu girl, who was suspended from Bangladesh university for ‘insulting’ Prophet Muhammad, has been missing for 6 days: Here is what happened

Hindu girl Tithy Sarkar goes missing in Bangladesh after allegedly making comments that insulted Prophet Muhammad and Islam
- Advertisement -

Kerala: Minor Dalit girl who self-immolated after raped by a DYFI member succumbs to burn injuries

The 16-year-old Dalit victim girl had set herself on fire by pouring kerosene after DYFI member Manu Manoj had raped her

Radical Muslim social media users trend hashtags in support Raza Academy after the radical organisation received severe backlash for its anti-France campaign

Raza Academy had launched a campaign against France, asking Islamic countries to issue Fatwa against French for 'Islamophobia'

Muslims hold placards with picture of French President with a footprint over his face during anti-France protest near the French consulate in Kolkata

Apart from Kolkata, Muslims in various other cities have joined their religious counterparts worldwide to protest against France

Kamal Nath calls me a dog, yes, I will attack the person who wants to harm the public: Jyotiraditya Scindia opens front against Kamal...

The by-poll is considered as an opportunity for Jyotiraditya Scindia to emerge as a formidable leader in the BJP camp.

Sadiya Anwar Shaikh, who was arrested for links with ISIS, was de-radicalised twice in the past: NIA charge-sheet

Sadiya Anwar Shaikh was de-radicalised twice in the past by intelligence agencies for radical comments on social media

Kashmir is integral to India’s civilisational heritage, given its Hindu and Buddhist history: Excerpt from ‘A New Idea Of India: Individual Rights In A...

A New Idea Of India: Individual Rights In A Civilisational State is written by Harsh Madhusudan and Rajeev Mantri.

The muffled voices of Hyderabad: Unaccounted reports of mass genocide of local Hindus under the Nizam

One of the largest princely states within the Indian union was Hyderabad, a Hindu-majority region ruled by a Muslim Nizam.

“I would have done the same”, says poet Munawwar Rana supporting the beheading of French teacher Samuel Paty by an Islamic terrorist

Munawwar Rana claimed honour killing has been allowed for thousands of years so beheading for blasphemy should be allowed

Who is Farhan Zuberi, now booked for threatening to behead people for insulting Islam: Here is his connection to AMU, AIMIM and anti-CAA violence

Farhan Zuberi is also an office-bearer of Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM. he is currently the in-charge of the party's youth wing in Western Uttar Pradesh.

Pakistan: Homes of Hindus burnt down by Islamists in Sindh to force them to convert to Islam

Hindus in Pakistan are known to be one of the worst persecuted minority communities in the world

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
472,289FollowersFollow
19,600SubscribersSubscribe