As much as Virat Kohli is revered and will be remembered as one of the finest batsmen to grace this game, he’ll also be remembered as a captain who didn’t play an identical XI in two consecutive games for 37 games and counting, and also as someone who made some interesting choices!
Kohli dropped the team’s vice-captain for the first two Tests in South Africa, dropped Cheteshwar Pujara for the first Test in England and has used Shikhar Dhawan only for the opening Test in two consecutive overseas tours.
Interestingly, India fielded two spinners for the second Test when their opponents went with four quicks. The pitch was green and under covers for over 24 hours, and while that ensured that India also wanted to field first (had India won the toss), it didn’t force them to play an extra seamer.
India were at the wrong end of the conditions with both bat and ball. It was overcast on the first day when James Anderson ran through the Indian batting, it turned nice and sunny when India bowled and the clouds returned when it was India’s turn to bat again in the second innings.
It felt that even the usually unpredictable English weather was hand in glove with the hosts. But good teams and champion players don’t look for excuses; they find answers instead.
(The author is a former Indian Test batsman. Views are personal)