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India Vs England: Virender Sehwag's funny take on why Virat Kohli must play Cheteshwar Pujara

India Vs England: Virender Sehwags funny take on why Virat Kohli must play Cheteshwar Pujara

New Delhi, Aug 6: Former India opener Virender Sehwag has advised Indian team management in his own funny style about possible team combination for the second Test match, starting August 9.

The 'Nawab of Najafgarh' has suggested the team management to include Cheteshwar Pujara in the Playing XI after England announced two changes in their squad for the second Test match.

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England have inducted 20-year-old Surrey middle-order batsman Ollie Pope as a replacement to David Malan and pacer Chris Woakes returns to the squad in place of Ben Stokes, who faces a court hearing this coming week in Bristol.

Taking a cue from the bold changes made by England selectors, Sehwag too made his suggestion but in his own witty manner.

"Pope likely to play for England. Should India play Pujara in the second test? After all it's Lords," tweeted Sehwag.

Barring skipper Virat Kohli, India's middle-order collapsed against a quality English pace attack in both the innings at Edgbaston and eventually lost the game. India missed the services of a capable batsman who spent his time playing County cricket in the summer.

Pope has been in excellent form for Surrey as they lead the County Championship Division One. Since the start of the season, he has scored 684 runs in the Championship, at an average of 85.50, which includes three centuries and a top score of 158 not out.

The right-handed batsman has also benefitted from the ECB's International Pathway. He was a regular in the Young Lions squads during 2016-17 and played for the Lions in their first-class fixture against India A last month where he scored 50 not out in a 253 runs victory at Blackfinch New Road, Worcester.

Earlier, former India captain Sourav Ganguly advised the current India skipper must urge his fellow India batsmen to change their mindset and play without fear.

On his Instagram handle, Ganguly wrote, "If you've to win a Test then everyone has to score runs. The other batsmen have to score 100's as well. Virat Kohli played very well otherwise India would have been out of the match on the 2nd day itself. This was the first Test in a 5 match series & I think this team has the capability to come back & play well.

"Ajinkya Rahane & Murali Vijay will have to show some determination since they have scored runs in these conditions before. I don't think the captain is responsible for the loss. If you're the captain then you'll be criticised for a loss the same way as you're congratulated for a win. One criticism for Virat Kohli is that he should give a consistent run to his batters & more time before dropping them.

"The failure against swing in English conditions can't be used as an excuse any more as everyone knows that its what you get when you come to England. You can't be excused all the time & we have lost before in 2011 & 2014. You've to bat well. It's a very well known fact that the ball will swing in England the same way as Australia is known for its pacy wickets. So if previously you've scored runs there is no reason you can't now.

"The captain should give confidence to his players. It's his team & only he can change their mindset. He will have to sit with them & tell them that if he can do it so can they. He should give them time & tell them to go out & play without any fear. It is true that after continuous chopping & changing of the playing XI, players can get afraid that after all these years they've failed to garner the faith of the team management," he wrote further.

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    Story first published: Monday, August 6, 2018, 12:56 [IST]
    Other articles published on Aug 6, 2018
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