Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli’s struggles against spin a cause of concern: VVS Laxman

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Tags: England tour of India 2021, India, England, Virat Kohli, Rohit Gurunath Sharma, Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman

Published on: Mar 30, 2021

Even though India got the better of England in the three-match ODI series on Sunday, former India cricketer VVS Laxman is concerned with how captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma have struggled against England’s spinners. While Rohit failed to read a googly from Adil Rashid and was clean bowled, Kohli perished to Moeen Ali, going back to a delivery that spun back in.

Speaking about the two dismissals, Laxman told Star Sports:

“The dismissal of KL Rahul was very unfortunate, getting out on a full toss. But both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will be really disappointed when they would see the replay because this has almost become like a pattern against the spinners.

“Rohit Sharma not able to read the googly from Adil Rashid and then Shikhar Dhawan got out. And then, Moeen Ali gets the wicket of Virat Kohli. The ball was pitched up and Virat Kohli was looking to play through the off side against the turn, giving himself room. I think this is a cause of concern because Indian players are supposed to be excellent batsmen against spin bowling. Overall, the wonderful foundation laid by Shikhar and Rohit Sharma was halted by the spin bowling duo of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali,” Laxman further added.

Rohit and Shikhar featured in a 103-run partnership for the opening wicket but both then perished in quick succession. While Kohli fell to Moeen, Rahul perished to a full toss from Liam Livingstone. India, however, rode on Rishabh Pant’s 78 and Hardik Pandya’s 64 to post 329.

In reply, England crumbled to 200 for 7 before a stunning innings of 95 not out from Sam Curran brought the visitors back. In end, they only lost by seven runs. For India, Shardul Thakur claimed four wickets and Bhuvneshwar Kumar three.

Reflecting on the match, former England cricketer Ian Bell was all praise of Pant. He told ESPNCricinfo, “He’s had a fantastic series, hasn’t he? Across all three formats. I saw a real calmness about him today. It’s not only high-risk, slogging or anything like that. Also, he gets off strike and rotates it. So I imagine that those bowlers at the end of their mark are thinking that if they get it slightly wrong, Pant does hurt them. We’ve seen a maturity as this series has gone on. That Test match hundred again would have given him a lot of confidence.”

India defeated England in all three formats during the series – by 3-1 in Tests, 3-2 in T20Is and 2-1 in ODIs.

–By A Cricket Correspondent

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