Virat Kohli © Getty Images
Virat Kohli must make some alterations in his team ahead of the second Test © Getty Images

Virat Kohli, as captain, has batted remarkably well. Sadly, his captaincy has not been up to the same standard despite starting off well when he led the team for the first time at Adelaide against Australia. He played six batsmen (including Wriddhiman Saha) and five bowlers in the Test against Sri Lanka at Galle keeping in mind that he has to pick up 20 wickets in the match to win it. The bowlers did their jobs, but sadly the batsmen did not step up. Pramod Ananth believes Kohli should have a more balanced approach to the game.

India were beaten comprehensively in the first Test at Galle after Rangana Herath and Tharindu Kaushal ran through India’s batting line-up. India were bundled out for just 112, chasing 176 to win. The bowlers, led by Ravichandran Ashwin, did a commendable job in both the innings. So, Kohli’s decision to pick five bowlers, which included three spinners, was justified as they got him those 20 wickets, which, according to him, is important to win a Test. READ: India vs Sri Lanka 2015, 1st Test at Galle: Team selection to blame for India’s loss

The batsmen riding on a century from Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli managed to make just 375 when they had a chance of batting the hosts completely out of the game. A lead in excess of 250 would have probably ensured that they would have won by an innings, but other than a 60 from Wriddhiman Saha none of the batsmen did well. The likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma failed miserably when the team needed them to score. READ: BCCI must adopt DRS after umpiring blunders marr 1st Test against Sri Lanka at Galle

Kohli’s approach for bowling the opposition out is fine, but he also needs batsmen who can bat the opposition out of the game. Giving multiple opportunities to players like Rohit is surely hurting them. They can instead go to players like Cheteshwar Pujara, who has in the past proved that he is a good bet at the No. 3 position. In hindsight, there was no point in going into the match with three spinners. India could have had Bhuvneshwar Kumar in place of Harbhajan Singh, who just picked up one wicket in the entire match. Bhuvneshwar is also a decent batsman down the order and could have made a valiant contribution to the total. READ: Rangana Herath spins out India with 7/48 as Sri Lanka win 1st Test at Galle by 63 runs

India will have to be careful in picking their teams next time around. They will need all their batsmen to fire, so that the bowlers’ efforts do not go in vain, like it did in the first Test. Kohli and the team management will have to take account of all such things before deciding on the playing XI for the next match. READ: Virat Kohli: India lacked mental strength during the chase against Sri Lanka

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)