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'Why So Defensive?' Kevin Pietersen Criticises Rohit Sharma's Captaincy In Vizag Test

image-ls8k4k8yRohit Sharma with Jasprit Bumrah [AP]

One of the direct effects of England's ultraggressive Bazball tactics in the ongoing Test series has been visible in the field settings Indian captain Rohit Sharma has been forced to embrace in home conditions for once. 

Used to his bowlers running through opposition line-ups under attacking fields, Rohit has been left with no option but to implement in-and-out fields, keeping in mind the consistent stroke-making England have indulged in.

The idea has been to allow his bowlers to settle down without early boundaries upsetting their rhythm but the tactic has also opened up singles for England batters to take, with Rohit often placing a long-on and deep mid-wicket even for a great spinner like Ravichandran Ashwin. 

Pietersen Critical Of Rohit Sharma's Tactics 

One of the commentators and experts critical of this aspect of Rohit's captaincy has been former England batting giant Kevin Pietersen, who digged into the Indian captain's tactics in the pre-lunch session on Day 4 of the Vizag Test.

As England's unique 'nighthawk' tactics with Rehan Ahmed bore the desired fruits, with the promoted lower-order batter chancing his arms and fetching a crucial 23 off 31 balls in the fourth-innings chase of 399, Pietersen demanded more attacking fields from Rohit against the adventurous batter. 

"Have a look at the captaincy from Rohit Sharma. Why is long-on back, why is mid-off back?" Pietersen wondered on commentary. "Why is he so defensive straightaway when England still need way over 300 runs to win this Test match."

"There's Rehan Ahmed on strike and he hit two fours but he should've been out first ball of the day. First boundary he hit this morning wasn't convincing at all and he just deft it away now for a single to wide mid-off." Pietersen added.

Pietersen compared Rohit's tactics with England skipper Ben Stokes and said "I don't like how negative" the Indian skipper has been, although Stokes also employed sensible defensive fields for his inexperienced spinners while India piled on the lead near the 400-run mark.