Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Key batting questions continue despite India's dominance. During Kohli's 82-run association for the third wicket with Shubman Gill, the Indian captain was surely not the dominant of the two
During Kohli's 82-run association for the third wicket with Shubman Gill, the Indian captain was surely not the dominant of the two
Since January 2015, India have lost as many as 998 wickets in the 71 Test matches that they have played, out of which close to 40% have been against spin. Considering India's reputation to traditionally be very strong against spin, it begs the question if there are problems to be addressed now.
A majority of the current Indian batters don't play domestic cricket, unlike Mayank Agarwal who, incidentally, is the most successful batter in the ongoing Test, having scored over 200 runs. Mayank himself has given credit to the years of grind in domestic cricket, where there are different types of spinners.
“That may well be so. They are not exposed to spin bowling. But their international itinerary and engagements are such that they don't have time to play domestic cricket. You can't blame them. Give (India head coach) Rahul Dravid a little more time. The quality batsman that he was, he will sort this out soon enough,” says Pravin Amre, a giant of domestic cricket in his playing days, who has carved out a reputation as a fine coach over the years.
India, despite being in a dominant position, in the second Test, have lost all their wickets to spin – 14 to Ajaz Patel and three to Rachin Ravindra – with skipper Virat Kohli getting out leg-before and bowled in his two innings. Is there a pattern to Kohli's recent dismissals?
Indian batting great Dilip Vengsarkar is dismissive of any such suggestions. “We can't arrive at conclusions on such pitches. These are turning tracks and I won't attribute, least of all Kohli's dismissals, to the weakness to spin bowling. This is no platform for judgement. One can make such an assessment on quality pitches, that will also attract spectators.”
During Kohli's 82-run association for the third wicket with Shubman Gill, the Indian captain was surely not the dominant of the two. Gill, in fact, played with much more assurance, authority and confidence. It could be said that Kohli missed out on an opportunity to make a statement just before the crucial away series against South Africa. Meanwhile, with two quality innings, Gill was making a strong case for himself in the middle order exerting pressure on the more established ones in the Indian batting line-up.
Axar Patel, who scored an unbeaten 41 off 26 in the second innings to go with a half-century in the first, said in the press conference that India despite having a huge lead decided to bat again because they approached the innings like a simulation exercise for a fourth-innings chase. India started Day 3 at 69 for 0, and delayed the declaration until late in the second session so that key Indian batters could get back into their rhythm before facing the challenging South African bowlers away from home. But not much may have been achieved, and although India are closing in on a comfortable victory, their leading batters in South Africa, like Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, may have missed a chance to get a strong performance under their belt.
The key batting questions thus are set to continue despite India pushing to find some clear answers.