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In his column for
The Times of India, Laxman highlighted how India missed opportunities and paid the price for it.
“The Indian think-tank will, I am sure, introspect and look inwards in the aftermath of the series defeat. The one thing they will recognise is that they kept repeating mistakes – allowing the tail to wag after making serious inroads into the top order, and not getting off to starts which is not the hallmark of the number one Test team of the world,” the Test icon wrote.
However, Laxman was quick to mention the partnership between KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant, both of who scored centuries in the fourth innings of the Oval Test giving India a chance to at least draw the game before they went on to lose it.
“I was delighted with the attitude of KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant in a daunting run-chase at The Oval,” the Hyderabad man said.
“From a position of no hope, they batted with freedom and expressed themselves beautifully with some of the best stroke-making of the series. Both men needed the hundreds. Rahul had had a disappointing tour till that point, while Pant faded away a little since his promising Trent Bridge debut. Their conviction and positivity is something India should take heart from.”
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While Laxman maintained that the one-sided scoreline hides the competitive nature in which the series was played, he said top Test sides can’t afford to go off the boil even once.
“The 4-1 scoreline in England’s favour might not necessarily be a true reflection of the quality of the two sides, butt it reiterated the fact that in Test cricket, you can’t take your eyes off the ball for even an hour,” Laxman mentioned.
“India had their opportunities, but except in Trent Bridge, they didn’t take them. By contrast, England raised their game a notch or two when it counted the most. The manner in which they bounced back in Southampton after the Trent Bridge hammering, and in the intensity with which they approached the dead rubber at The Oval, is something India must seek to emulate,” he added.
He concluded by saying that Kohli & Co will get a chance to redeem themselves on the tour of Australia later this year.
“India could have looked for a draw in the immediacy of Rahul’s dismissal, but they kept going for the target till Pant was around, like they had done in Adelaide in 2014 in Virat’s first Test as captain. That is the character of this team — to strive for a result, no matter what. Their shot at redemption will come later in the year in Australia,” the Test icon concluded.