Sydney: India’s new Test skipper Virat Kohli’s captaincy came under the scanner with former Australian captain Ian Chappell and injured regular skipper Michael Clarke criticising his decisions during the second day of the fourth Test here Wednesday.
Kohli switched the field around far too often for the Australian duo’s liking and gave his bowlers very short spells, denying them the chance to work up any rhythm at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Australia scored heavily posting 572 for seven declared and took control of the proceedings. India were 71 for one in reply at stumps still trailing by 501 runs.
After tea, Kohli called upon three fast-bowlers — Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar — for one-over spells from the Paddington end as spinner Ravichandran Ashwin bowled from the other end. Chappell criticised such tactics and said it further led to the bowlers losing their line and length.
“It sent out a message of impatience to the bowlers and I think that contributed to the bad bowling. But I don’t understand this sort of impatience; one-over spells, that’s not giving the bowler a chance at all,” Chappell was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Injured Australian captain Clarke was equally baffled by Kohli’s tactics.
“I don’t think I have a reason to give you why Virat has done that. I think in the shorter form of the game, T20 cricket, the one-over spells can work so a batter doesn’t get too used to a particular bowler,” he said.
“But in a Test match I don’t know the exact reason. Maybe it was to try something different to get a breakthrough,” said the 33-year-old.
Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun was also perplexed at the tactics, which didn’t work as the Indian bowlers were taken for plenty of runs.
“I’ll really have to discuss with the captain and find out what the strategy was there,” said Arun.