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India were defensive and timid on Day 4: Shastri

July 05, 2022 14:25 IST

Jasprit Bumrah

IMAGE: India's players celebrate after Jasprit Bumrah dismissed England opener Zak Crawley on Day 4 of the fifth Test on Monday. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

India's 'timid' and 'defensive' batting approach in their second innings allowed England to make a comeback in the rescheduled fifth Test on the fourth day, reckons former chief coach Ravi Shastri.

Leading by 132 runs, India's second innings folded for 245. Chasing 378, England are now just 119 runs away from the victory target.


"I think (it was) disappointing, to say the least, because they could have batted England out of this contest," said Shastri, who is part of the Sky Sports Cricket team at Edgbaston.

"They needed to bat two sessions and I thought they were defensive, they were timid today, especially after lunch.

"Even after they had lost those wickets, they could have taken some chances. Runs were important at that stage of the game and I thought they just went into a shell, lost those wickets too quickly, and gave enough time for England to bat today."

Shastri was the head coach of the Indian team back in 2021 when it had taken a 2-1 lead against England before the tour was called off due to multiple cases of COVID-19 in the Indian camp.

'Bumrah got his tactics wrong: Pietersen

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen also questioned India's stand-in captain Jasprit Bumrah's tactics, saying his defensive field placements made it easy for the batters to rotate the strike.

"I don't think Bumrah got his tactics right today at all, and I say that with the greatest deal of respect," Pietersen said.

"There is no way with a reverse swinging ball that he should make it that easy for the batter, because the batter is trying so hard to decipher which way that ball is swinging."

"When it's reverse swinging at 90mph, the nicest place to bat is at the non-strikers end, and the ability to get to the non-strikers end as easily as they did this afternoon, it's too easy."

Pietersen hoped Bumrah will employ a different approach on the fifth and final day.

"They had long off and long on, and that was pure madness. For half an hour that was pure madness. Even for the last 15-20 minutes of the day's play, pull them right in, say 'Jonny, if you're good enough to hit me over the head, please do it.'"

"I hope they don't do it tomorrow morning, but for England's sake, absolutely, let them spread them as far as they want." 

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