July 8 Daily Cricket News Updates

6:30 PM (IST): Here’s what Indian coach Rahul Dravid had to say following England’s historic win to level the 5-match series at 2-2:

On England: “I do not know what BazBall is, but the way they have played their cricket has been really good. I admit I did not watch much of the NZ series, only watched parts of it for our preparation. The way they have chased down all four targets has been exceptional – they probably have two batters in the form of their life.”

On the game: “It’s been disappointing in South Africa and here. It could be a variety of factors. We have to maintain a level of fitness. Our batting has not been up to scratch. We have had third innings (batting) problems both in South Africa and Edgbaston. We will think about it. After every match there is a learning. Why are we batting poorly in the third innings and bowling poorly in the fourth innings.”

On Ashwin: “It would have actually looked nice to have a 2nd spinner but it did not turn enough to justify the inclusion.”

On Pant: “He has played two outstanding knocks this year, he does increase our heart rate but we have got used to it now, we need to accept about some of his shot selections – he can turn matches. He back himself & plays with strength. We have very good communication.”

2:15 PM (IST): Ravi Shastri, India’s coach for the first four Tests of this series, was also unimpressed with the team’s defensive approach to batting. “Disappointing, to say the least, because they could have batted England out of this contest,” he told SKY Sports.

“They needed to bat two sessions and I thought they were defensive, they were timid today, especially after lunch.

“Even after they had lost those wickets, they could have taken some chances. Runs were important at that stage of the game and I thought they just went into a shell, lost those wickets too quickly, and gave enough time for England to bat today.”

2:00 PM (IST): Kevin Pietersen slammed India’s defensive field sets, calling the strategy of having long on and long off in place “madness.” In an interview with Sky Sports, he stated: “I don’t think Bumrah got his tactics right today at all, and I say that with the greatest deal of respect. There is no way with a reverse swinging ball that he should make it that easy for the batter, because the batter is trying so hard to decipher which way that ball is swinging.”

“When it’s reverse swinging at 90mph, the nicest place to bat is at the non-strikers end, and the ability to get to the non-strikers end as easily as they did this afternoon, it’s too easy,” he added.

“They had long off and long on, and that was pure madness. For half an hour that was pure madness. Even for the last 15-20 minutes of the day’s play, pull them right in, say ‘Jonny, if you’re good enough to hit me over the head, please do it.'”

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