India vs England 4th Test: Why is Virat Kohli-led Team India wearing black arm bands?

The Indian cricket team led by Virat Kohli sported black armbands on Thursday — opening day of the fourth Test against England — as a mark of respect for legendary coach Vasudev Paranjape.

Paranjape, 82, passed away at his Mumbai residence on Monday. While he played 29 first-class games for Mumbai and Baroda from 1956/57-1969/70, making 785 runs with two centuries and two half-centuries, Paranjape left a lasting impression in his role as coach and mentor.

With his excellent grasp of the game, he shaped the careers of several Mumbai and India stalwarts. Equipped with technical nuances, he used his man-management skills to great effect.

He was appointed a Director of Coaching in the ’80s by the board and was a head coach of camps for junior cricketers. He was also among the first set of coaches when the National Cricket Academy was inaugurated in 2000.

Coming to the match between India and England, Joe Root won the toss and decided to bowl first at The Oval on Thursday.

India skipper Virat Kohli said: “We would have bowled first as well but toss isn’t something you can control. Need to be prepared for either. We’re looking forward to putting runs on the board. Two changes — Ishant and Shami have niggles — Umesh and Shardul are back. For us, it’s about partnerships, we can’t focus too much on individuals. The opening partnerships have been good, it’s about getting more partnerships. We got a few days left on this tour, the series is poised nicely and there is going to be no shortage of effort from our side.”

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan on Thursday termed the non-selection of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the Indian lineup as “madness”. “The non selection of @ashwinravi99 has to be greatest NON selection we have ever witnessed across 4 Tests in the UK !!! 413 Test wickets & 5 Test 100s !!!! #ENGvIND Madness,” tweeted Vaughan

Ashwin has not featured in any of the four Tests against England so far and his omission has been a huge debating point across the cricket fraternity.

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Sagar Biswas

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