Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott has created a stir by stating that Indian captain Rohit Sharma is past his prime and that England has a significant opportunity to win the ongoing Test series against India. Boycott also expressed his belief that India will feel the absence of key players like Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja in the upcoming second Test match.
Boycott’s remarks come in the aftermath of India’s defeat to England in the first Test in Hyderabad. Despite starting both innings well, Sharma failed to convert his starts into substantial scores, prompting Boycott to question Sharma’s form and effectiveness as a captain.
In his column for The Telegraph, Boycott criticized Sharma’s recent performances, stating, “Their captain Rohit Sharma is nearly 37 and past his best. He makes pretty cameos but has only scored two Test hundreds at home in four years. They are also weak in the field.” Boycott’s comments highlight his concerns about Sharma’s ability to lead the Indian team effectively.
Boycott emphasized that England has a golden opportunity to defeat India on their home turf, a feat that has not been achieved by any visiting team in the past 12 years. He attributed India’s vulnerability to the absence of key players like Kohli and Jadeja, who play crucial roles in the team’s success.
“This India team is ripe for the taking, and England have a golden chance to be the first side to topple them on their own patch for 12 years. India badly miss Virat Kohli, and Ravindra Jadeja has a hamstring injury and will not play the second Test.”
Regarding Jadeja’s injury, Boycott described it as a significant setback for India, considering Jadeja’s all-round abilities and his standout performance in the first Test. He also emphasized Kohli’s absence, highlighting the captain’s prolific record on Indian pitches and his impact on the team’s energy and fielding.
“Jadeja is a huge blow. He is a great all-rounder, top bowler, brilliant fielder and was their best batsman in the first Test. Kohli is their talisman.
“He is a magnificent batsman who averages 60 on Indian pitches, but he also gives them great energy in the field. He is a big loss, and England must make the most of it before he comes back for the third Test.”
Boycott concluded by suggesting that England must capitalize on India’s weakened lineup and seize the opportunity to win the Test series. He noted that India is due for a defeat at home and that England’s confidence after their remarkable win in the first Test makes them strong contenders for victory in the series.
“India are due a defeat at home. The signs are good, as they have lost Kohli, Jadeja, Mohammad Shami and Rishabh Pant and are playing opponents full of confidence after a remarkable win. England must take this rare opportunity.”
The second Test between India and England is scheduled to commence on February 2 in Vishakhapatnam, where both teams will look to gain the upper hand in what promises to be an intriguing battle.