IND vs ENG: Pietersen, Gavaskar conflict over 'defense or attack' after India struggles in second innings

IND vs ENG: Unlike the first innings, where Indian batters fell while playing attacking shots, the second innings witnessed a defensive approach.

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IND vs ENG: In the gripping second innings of the Hyderabad Test against England, Team India faced a formidable challenge chasing a target of 231 on a turning track. England's Ollie Pope emerged as the tormentor-in-chief, crafting a brilliant 196 in the Englan's second innings, while Rehan Ahmed and Tom Hartley added 62 crucial runs to frustrate the Indian bowlers. England posted 436 in the second innings. 

Lack of Intent in Indian batters

As India took the crease, Rohit Sharma displayed positive intent, scoring 39 runs, but Yashasvi Jaiswal, known for his aggressive approach, surprisingly adopted a defensive stance, managing only 15 off 35 balls. Shubman Gill had a brief outing, lasting only two deliveries, and Tom Hartley struck twice, including the pivotal wicket of Rohit Sharma.

KL Rahul and Axar Patel failed to leave a mark with scores of 22 and 17 respectively, adding to India's woes in the second innings. Meanwhile, the star of the first innings, Ravindra Jadeja was run out by the brilliant throw of England's skipper, Ben Stokes.

Unlike the first innings, where Indian batters fell while playing attacking shots, the second innings witnessed a defensive approach. The pressure of the chase on a tricky Day 4 surface led all batters to resort to defensive strokes, leaving commentators Kevin Pietersen and Sunil Gavaskar puzzled.

Former England Cricketer Criticizes India's Defensive Strategy

Kevin Pietersen criticized the defensive strategy, deeming it unsuitable for Indian pitches. He argued that the batters' reluctance to take risks backfired for Team India. 

During his commentary, Pietersen said, "When you look at the shortest format of the game, there are youngsters who are growing up sweeping and reverse-sweeping. 10-15 years ago, batters didn't play that way. But look at Ben Duckett for example, he's grown up playing that way. He's so comfortable playing that shot,”

"Gone are the days when it was a wonderful shot. These guys are playing it so easily. Traditional cricket, I don't think it works against spinners in India," the former England skipper added.

However, Gavaskar disagreed, emphasizing a balanced approach with crucial footwork for defending on challenging surfaces.

What was Gavaskar's Response to India's Batting Collapse?

Gavaskar insisted on a mix of orthodox and unorthodox shots, emphasizing the importance of using one's feet. "It can work if you use your feet. We haven't seen batters use their feet. You need to get as close to the ball as possible," he remarked.

Furthermore, he added, "How many batters have we seen who actually went down the pitch? What you said is absolutely right, you got to play the unorthodox shots as well. But you also got to play the orthodox shots, by using your feet."

England has the Upper Hand

The game is inclined towards the English side, at the time of writing this story. England is just one wicket away from victory while India needs 40 runs to win. Tom Hartley has scalped 6 wickets in the innings. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj are fighting the last minutes of Day 4.