India’s 246-run win over England in Vizag restored normalcy in the Virat Kohli-led team’s campaign at home. After the visitors forced a draw in the first Test in Rajkot, Indian bowlers were back to their best in the second game of the five-match series. India’s unbeaten run has now extended to 15 Tests.
However, India’s win was not easy as England, after being given a 405-run target to win, showed dogged resistance with openers Haseeb Hameed and Alastair Cook frustrating the Indian bowler for over a session. Cook, the England captain, fell on the last ball of fourth day and that was the turning point of the match, according to Sunil Gavaskar.
“Dismissing Cook on the last ball was the turning point. He not only was batting well against Indian bowlers but as a captain inspired his team. His dismissal broke their spirit,” Gavaskar told NDTV.
“However, India had to work hard for the win. It was not easy for them to pick all those wickets. But England should not be taken lightly, even after this win. Virat Kohli and his boys should enjoy this win, but they should not lose focus.”
The former India captain added that the third Test in Mohali, starting from November 26, is a great chance for England to restore parity in the series.
“The conditions in Mohali will help England. It’s their best chance to make a comeback,” he said.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra said that the current England team was not at par with the 2012 squad that toured India and won the Test series.
“The 2012 England team that toured India was more potent than the current one. They had the likes of Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar, while James Anderson was also younger then,” Chopra said.
Both Chopra and Gavaskar lauded the way Virat Kohli led the team.
“Virat Kohli relishes the responsibility of leading Indian team. He knows the team looks up to him during crunch situations and he delivers every time,” Gavaskar said.
Chopra added: “Virat Kohli has so far picked the side correctly according to respective opponents. Against New Zealand he played with four bowlers while against England he has used five bowlers so far. He has his plans ready for every team.”