In a surprising turn of events, India faced defeat in the first Test against England despite securing a substantial 190-run lead in the first innings. This outcome, particularly in spin-friendly home conditions, marks one of England’s most celebrated triumphs in Test history. However, former England captain Michael Vaughan believes the scenario might have been different had Virat Kohli been leading the Indian side instead of Rohit Sharma.
Virat opted out of the initial two Tests due to personal reasons. In his absence, the team led by Rohit lost the opening Test by a narrow 28-run margin while chasing a target of 231. Debutant left-arm spinner Tom Hartley’s exceptional seven-wicket spell on the fourth day, following Ollie Pope’s impressive knock of 196, played a pivotal role in England’s resurgence.
The victory handed Ben Stokes’s team a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. Speaking on the ‘Club Prairie Fire’ YouTube channel, Vaughan expressed that India missed Virat Kohli’s captaincy significantly in Test cricket. According to him, under Virat’s leadership, India might not have faced defeat. Vaughan acknowledged Rohit Sharma’s legendary status and playing prowess but felt that as a captain, Rohit seemed to have “switched off.”
In a similar vein, Vaughan, in his column for ‘The Telegraph,’ criticized Rohit’s captaincy as “average,” especially in dealing with Ollie Pope’s effective ‘sweep’ tactics when the bowlers seemed at a loss.
The upcoming second Test is scheduled to commence on February 2 in Visakhapatnam. Apart from Virat’s absence, India will also be without KL Rahul and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, both sidelined due to injuries