Former India player and selector Jatin Paranjpe believes that couple of Indian youngsters were a bit careless in the approach during the recently concluded 5th Test India vs England Test which the home team went on to win – chasing down a record target of 378 – thus ensuring the series ended at 2-2. India were the favourites to win the fifth Test heading into the Day 4, but a poor batting performance by the team in the second innings opened the doors for England and Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow’s mammoth 269-run stand led the England to a memorable victory early on Day 5. While Joe Root scored an unbeaten 142, on the other side, Jonny Bairstow also went big with an an unbeaten 112, his second century of the match.
“I daresay a couple of the younger players were a little careless in their approach and that to me is a bit worrying. It could be one of two things: either you want to play that way and feel that is the best way to express yourself, or you don’t get the gravity of a certain situation. The latter is very, very dangerous. This clarity is what Rahul [Dravid] and Vikram Rathour would try and establish very quickly with the younger players,” said the former Mumbai player.
Paranjpe opined that youngsters like Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer must shoulder responsibility in Test cricket. He added that if Gill could have added more runs in the Tests, the game’s result might have favoured India. “The way Gill was batting in the first innings, if he had batted like that for 45 minutes, he would have scored 40 runs so imagine India 50 for no loss … it would have been a different ball game,” said Paranjpe while speaking to cricket journalist and anchor Jamie Alter during an episode of his chat show on Glance.
“While I think the world of the younger players in the team, these are opportunities for them to really digest what the opportunity areas in front of them are and learn from it. Third innings are very tense, very crucial in a match like this and that is where I think England turned it around with Anderson getting Gill. That was a big wicket, the turning point of the game”, he added.
While Gill managed just 17 and 4 across two innings – perishing to James Anderson both times, Iyer, at No.6 made 15 and 19, but more alarming fell both times to the short stuff, and looked all at sea against the particular strategy.
Paranjpe believed that the Indian side had good grip on the match until the third innings. “There were two or three pieces in the game where India should have done better. In Test matches, third innings are very important and I thought India were diffident and timid in their third innings. They should have come out with more purpose. I think it falls upon the younger players to stand up and be counted in such times. A lot of the youngsters have got many chances. These are the times to really grind it out play half a session, a full session, try and think like a captain when you are at the crease.”
Indian team’s bank of younger players looked quite promising at the beginning of the Edgbaston Test. While Rishabh Pant amazed everyone with his magnificent batting performance, other youngsters didn’t fare out well.