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India-England Test Series 2021 – Outswingers proving to be nemesis of India’s middle-order

James Anderson has dismissed Virat Kohli record seven times, Ajinkya Rahane eight and Cheteshwar Puajara ten times in Test cricket.

Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Puajra, Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant have been getting out fishing out side off stump. IND vs ENG 2021
Virat Kohli 7, Rahane 8 and Puajra got 10 times out to Anderson in tests. (Photo: ©Getty)

In the ongoing India-England Test series 2021, India’s batsmen were flattened by the swing bowling arsenal of England. Problems of India’s batsmen against swing bowling are not new. India batsmen rarely put complete batting performance in swing-friendly conditions. After Virat Kohli took the mantle of captaincy in 2014-15, we have seen only a few batsmen bailing out India in swing-friendly conditions.

Analysis of dismissals of India’s batsmen in the ongoing Test series

While having a look at the performance of India’s batters in the ongoing Test series against England, one can easily gauge similarity in the dismissals of some batsmen. Let's have a quick look at some dismissals of India’s middle-order comprising of skipper Virat Kohli, veteran number 3 batter Cheteshwar Pujara, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant.

Dismissal of Indian Batsmen vs English Bowlers

Virat Kohli’s dismissals

In the three matches of the series so far, Virat Kohli has always got out while chasing balls outside the off-stump. In his all five dismissals, he's seen giving catching practice to slip fielders and keepers.

In the above chart, India’s skipper failed against James Anderson and Ollie Robinson twice each and succumbed to the medium pace of Sam Curran once. James Anderson has got Virat Kohli out record seven times in test cricket, equaling the record of Aussie tweaker Nathan Lyon who has also bagged the wicket of Kohli seven times in Test cricket.

Ajinkya Rahane’s dismissals

India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane found a new way to get out every time, as he always looked unsure early in the innings apart from shepherding a tentative footwork. He got himself run out in the first innings of the Nottingham Test while he succumbed to England pace contingent spearhead Anderson twice in this series. Durham pacer Mark Wood dismissed the Mumbaikar once, also spinner Moeen Ali bagged his wicket in the Lord’s Test match on 61. Ajinkya Rahane has got out record eight times to James Anderson in test cricket including 2 times in this series already with two more tests to go.

Cheteshwar Pujara’s dismissals

India’s one down batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has always been known for his strong defence and patience, but in this series, he was also seen fishing for deliveries bowled well outside the off-stump. That's why he succumbed to Anderson thrice and once against Robinson. Speedster Mark Wood also scalped Pujara once in the Lord’s Test when he stitched a vital partnership with Rahane. James Anderson has dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara 10 times in test cricket including 3 times in last 5 innings on India tour of England.

Rishabh Pant has got out 4 times to Ollie Robinson in Pataudi Series 2021. IND vs ENG 2021
Robinson has got Pant 4 times out of 5 innings in England so far. (Photo: ©Getty)

Rishabh Pant’s dismissals

Star wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant looked confused on the pitch due to his aggressive mindset of attack combined with defence. He became the bunny of Ollie Robinson in this Test series to lose his wicket to the pacer four times. Mark Wood also dismissed Pant once in the Lord’s Test.

Getting out to one bowler for four times out 5 shows the vulnerability to adapt in tough situation. He has got out edging the ball four times in the series so far. Dancing down the pitches, changing the stance every now and then, have been Rishabh Pant's style of play but, none of them have born any fruit so far.

Type of deliveries Indian batsmen got out in Pataudi Trophy 2021

In the above chart, outswinging deliveries have become the Achilles heel of India’s skipper. Virat Kohli got dismissed on outswingers for four times, while only once he got out to inswinger from Ollie Robinson in the second innings of the third Test match after scoring his first fifty in the series. Kohli doing nothing different from India tour of England 2018 where he amassed over 500 runs with the same technique but, this time around, he looks more vulnerable to these deliveries. Lack of runs could be one thing that is making him play more deliveries than leaving.

Ajinkya Rahane has got out on different types of deliveries in this series but, Pujara had a really tough time against outswing deliveries. Thrice Pujara got dismissed to such deliveries. Lower middle-order batsman Rishabh Pant got dismissed on some straight deliveries while trying a hard push at the ball; he was also dismissed on going away balls twice. Once he got dismissed on a delivery which bounced more than usual, while trying for the drive in the first innings of the Nottingham Test match.

Type of Dismissal of Indian Batsmen in the Pataudi Trophy 2021

As it's clearly visible from the above chart, Indian batting maestro Virat Kohli edged to the keeper and slip fielders on all occasions in this series while his deputy Rahane got out behind the stumps four times, also got run-out once. Cheteshwar Pujara was dismissed four times behind stumps in this test series. Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant also got edged four times in this test series.

India’s batsmen will do well to correct these mistakes going into the last two Test matches to be played at The Oval from September 2-6 and at Old Trafford from September 10-14. The India-England 2021 series is tied at 1-1 with two Test matches to go.


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