From Ayaz Memon’s pen: The question is, if Kuldeep is not even the first or second choice then why is he in the team?

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Ayaz Menon

The first two days of the first Test have been difficult for India. Indian bowlers did well on an easy batting pitch. But it is also a fact that he took just 8 wickets for 555 runs. Cricket is a game of uncertainties. But England have reached a position from where they have saved themselves from defeat. Before the match started, many experts believed that the Indian team would do a clean sweep. So many were assuming India’s victory 2–0.

The series is just beginning. Chepak’s pitch is always easier to bat on the first two days. But this time it is like a runway. Despite this, Joe Root’s double century cannot be underestimated. England crossed the 500 mark with contributions from Sibley, Stokes, Burns and Butler. This is worrying for India.

But the question is whether India could have done anything to stop England from such a big score? The bowlers tried well. But questions are being raised on the playing-11. Mohammed Siraj, the highest wicket-taker in Australia, had to sit out due to Ishant’s experience. This is wrong for young Siraj, but not completely unfair.

Ignoring Kuldeep raises more questions. Akshar Patel was to be replaced in place of Jadeja. But he got injured just before the match. Nadeem gets a chance to play for Kuldeep. Nadeem has a lot of experience in domestic cricket. But the question is, if Kuldeep is not even the first or second choice, then why are they in the team?

Fielding of India is a big problem among all. Half-chance also has to be caught on such a pitch. The players missed many chances. I thought Root would declare the innings when Butler was out. This will put pressure on the Indian batsmen at the end of the day. In my view, England have made a defensive decision. But circumstances are completely on their side. Team India is under pressure.


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