ANI Photo | “Rohit Sharma was clueless”: Monty Panesar on India’s 28-run loss against England in 1st Test

Following England’s 28-run win over India in the first Test match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday, former cricketer Monty Panesar said that Rohit Sharma was ‘clueless.’
Speaking exclusively to ANI, Monty said that England’s win over India was very “big” and that no one imagined it would have been possible.
He added that the hosts need to stop giving so much freedom to the English players.
The former England spinner also said that if Virat Kohli was in the team then he would have charged the visitors.
He added that England would still play with the fear of failure in the upcoming four Test matches.
“It is a very big victory, no one even imagined this was even possible. Everyone thought that England would lose after a 190 deficit but Ollie Pope had a brilliant inning one of the best innings we have seen in a long time and Rohit Sharma was clueless. India need to stop giving the freedom that the England players are getting. If Virat Kohli was playing he would have been in the faces of these England players and told them ‘Hey, do it again let’s see how good you are’. This is an England team who are not scared of losing, they don’t scare if they lose. In the next four games, they (England) would still play with the fear of failure,” Monty told ANI.
He further added that England’s 28-run win in the first Test match over India felt like they had won the World Cup.
“It was one of the most famous victories England have ever produced overseas. This is a big news in England. It feels like we have won the World Cup,” he added.
The 41-year-old added that the England team are learning from India by seeing the “bowlers ball, they watch how they bat and their body language”. He further added that the English squad looked at India’s weaknesses and then they understood how they beat the hosts.
He pointed out how Ben Stokes backed Tom Hartley even after a sloppy performance in the first inning and later the English spinner shined in the second inning.
“I think England is a team who are learning from India, they watch India, they see how the bowlers ball, they watch how they bat and their body language. They look at any weakness in the Indian team and then they start understanding that they can beat India. I will give you an example, Axar Patel was not mentally tough and dropped catches. On the other hand, look at Tom Hartley, in the first inning Yashasvi Jaiswal smashed him so many fours but Ben Stokes backed him, his captaincy was brilliant and Hartley’s second-inning bowling performance was brilliant,” he added.
The former cricketer said that Ben Stokes’ side’s approach is different, adding that the visitors would learn from Rohit Sharma’s side and would beat them “fearlessly”.
“This England team’s approach is totally different. They will look at India and learn from them and will beat them and they are playing fearlessly,” he added.
When asked if Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul’s injuries would affect India’s performance in the second Test match, Monty said that now “Rohit Sharma can show his true captaincy”. He also asked the Indian skipper to show some fight.
“I think it makes it easier for Rohit Sharma now. Rohit Sharma will say that they need to play fearlessly. Now Rohit Sharma can show his true captaincy. He needs to show that they won’t get down after losing the first Test match. Common, Rohit Sharma show some fight,” he added.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced that Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul have been ruled out of the second Test match against England due to injuries.
Jadeja sustained a hamstring injury during play on Day 4 of the first Test in Hyderabad. Meanwhile, Rahul complained of right quadriceps pain.
Talking about Ollie Pope and Tom Hartley’s performance, he added that if the two English cricketers continue their form then the visitors have a chance to win the series by 5-0.
“If Ollie Pope and Tom Hartley continue to play like this it will be a whitewash, it will be 5-0 for England. It can happen if Ollie Pope and Tom Hartley play like this,” he added.
While concluding, he added that Kohli’s “presence and intensity” is missing from the India team. He added that Rohit needs to prove himself now that he can turn around the series without Kohli.
“Virat Kohli has that presence and intensity, which is missing currently in the India team. Virat Kohli has that aura and presence. If England win the next Test match then India will be in big trouble. This is a big moment for Rohit Sharma, he needs to show that he can turn around the match without Virat Kohli,” he added.
Kohli has withdrawn from the first two Tests against England due to personal reasons, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced.
Recapping the first Test match in Hyderabad, Ollie Pope’s blitzkrieg, and debutant Tom Hartley’s spin inspired England to a 28-run victory in the first Test against India at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
After Pope’s 196 inspired England’s hopes of an unprecedented comeback, debutant Tom Hartley’s magic with the ball on Day 4 did the trick for the visitors.
The slow left-arm orthodox spinner made most of the surface that kept low. He tried to use the rough to produce uneven bounce and sharp spin to cause all sorts of trouble to Indian batters. After making early inroads, Hartley continued to ride high on confidence and made an immediate impact after the beginning of the third session.
India’s gamble of sending Axar Patel to fifth spot didn’t yield the expected results. A momentary lapse in Axar’s concentration saw him send the ball straight to Hartley’s hands, forcing him to depart for 17.
Root came in, spun the ball sharply into KL Rahul and trapped him right in front of the stumps. The 31-year-old decided to challenge the on-field decision, but with three reds popping up on the screen, Rahul’s time on the field ended with a score of 22.
Within 30 minutes, the Hyderabad crowd fell into silence, with first innings hero, Ravindra Jadeja failing to get past the crease following Ben Stokes’s remarkable effort in the field. England for the first time took control of the game taking the fourth wicket of the session while spilling away just 24 runs. (ANI)

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