Former English skipper Nasser Hussain said India captain Virat Kohli was phenomenal with the bat in the Birmingham Test but questioned his captaincy, saying “he should too take some responsibility” for the 31-run loss.
While talking to Sky Sports, Hussain said, “Kohli was phenomenal in this game. He single-handedly brought India back into the Test match. I do think he should take some of the responsibility for the loss, though. England was 87-7 with Curran and Adil Rashid at the crease and for some reason, Ravichandran Ashwin went out of the game for an hour. India lost control then – he needs to look back on his captaincy and say ‘when I’ve got a bloke who averages 19 against left-handers and a 20-year-old left-hander on strike, why did I take him off?”
Virat was the only warrior from the Indian team as he scored 149 and 51 in the game as the other batsmen let the team down. Talking about the enthralling battle over four days, Hussain said the match was the best possible testimony of the greatness of Test cricket.
Hussain explained, “The pitch has a lot to do with that – it wasn’t a flat belter – and so have the players. The standard of bowling and captaincy (has been great). I think Joe Root has been outstanding in this game. A lot of times nowadays we see one side get ahead in Test matches and series and then the other doesn’t seem capable of fighting back. This match has switched one way and then the other.”
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The former England captain also praised for the young England all-rounder Sam Curran, who starred with both and ball in only his second Test. He concluded, “He has won England this game. He changed the course of two innings. He came on with India 50-0 and pitched it up, swung it and got four for nothing and he then went in with England 87-7. After his first game you thought he was maybe a bits-and-pieces cricketer and wondered whether he was quick enough, could move it enough and if he was a proper batsman. He has a character in abundance”