Team India has returned home after beating Australia on their soil, but such miracles do not happen very frequently. However, regarding the Chennai Test against England, I would say that India if manages a draw, it will be good for India. Being the first match of the series, India might be under immense pressure, and it is reflecting in their game. Although, Rishabh Pant is in a good form nowadays, India needs to learn that they but cannot depend on some of the players all the time.
Virat Kohli has returned to the team after several matches. He was too defensive in the first innings, and I have a little doubt about his approach in the second inning as well. On the fifth day you should go for a draw till lunch. You should not even think about winning. But it does not mean that your game switches completely to the defensive gear, as such thinking often leads you to defeat.
I was disappointed to see the way Rohit Sharma gave away his wicket. His playing style before the spinners has been under question for quite a while. He should understand that now he has to shoulder the responsibility of opening the innings in a Test match. If he gets out on similar occasions, he will lose his place, as many youngsters are strong contenders for the opening slot.
But it is also the fact that if this was the Mumbai or Nagpur pitch, he would have played well. However, it is important to mold your game according to the conditions, which is not seen by him. When the pitch is slow and the ball comes to bat very slowly, Rohit goes off the colour.
Batting will be quite difficult, as the ball is reverse-swinging, and some deliveries are staying quite low. It is a misconception that in such a situation only spinners can wreak havoc, I believe, that in such a situations, the role of fast bowlers is too important.
Jack Leach’s sharp spin and the way Jofra Archer is utilising the bounce makes it quite evident that India will have a tough time on the fifth and the final day. Dom Bess also exhibited his ability to scalp crucial wickets during the first innings, and finally not to forget the fact that Anderson can also wreak havoc on such pitches.
It will be good for Team India to save this match. If India survives, it will be as good as clinching a victory.
Writer is a former fast bowler of Team India, and a cricket expert. Views expressed are writer’s personal.
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New Zealand survive Stoinis-Daniel scare to secure thrilling win over Australia in 2nd T20I
Dunedin [New Zealand], February 25 (ANI): Marcus Stoinis’ 78 off 37 balls and Daniel Sams’ 41 off 15 balls weren’t enough to help Australia secure a win as New Zealand emerged victorious in the second T20I by four runs on Thursday.
With this thrilling win, New Zealand has taken a 2-0 lead in the five-match T20I series. Martin Guptill returned to form with a sensational knock while James Neesham slammed 45 off 16 balls before Stoinis and Daniel almost got Australia over the line.
Neesham dismissed both Stoinis and Daniel in the final over to help New Zealand secure a win in the second T20I. For the Kiwis, Mitchell Santner picked four, Neesham struck two while Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi picked a wicket each.
Chasing a mammoth 220, Australia got off to a good start as the visitors smashed 33 runs from the first three overs. But Southee removed Matthew Wade in the fourth over to put a break on Australia’s chase.
But the visitors continued to bat freely and seven overs into the chase, Australia was 64/1 before Sodhi dismissed skipper Finch on the last ball of the eight over.
After the Finch’s dismissal, Australia kept losing wickets at regular intervals and was soon found reeling at 113/6 before Stoinis and Daniel came out firing on cylinders. The duo stitched a 92-run stand for the seventh wicket in just 37 balls but New Zealand held their nerve in the final over to prevail
Earlier put in to bat first, New Zealand got off to a bad start as Kane Richardson struck with his first ball to dismiss Tim Seifert in the fourth over.
However, Guptill was in altogether a different mood on Thursday as he raced off to 37 in 23 balls to announce his return to form in style. New Zealand scored 45 runs in the first six overs with Guptill alone accounting for 37 of those. Guptill continued his scintillating batting and notched up his half-century in just 27 balls. A few blistering shots and the right-handed batsman moved to 70 off 37 balls as New Zealand went past the 100-run mark in the 11 overs.
Meanwhile, skipper Kane Williamson played the role of a second fiddle but Gutpill’s flurry of boundaries brought up the 100-run partnership for New Zealand. Daniel Sams provided Australia the second breakthrough as Guptill fell three runs short of his century in the 15th over
In the next over, Adam Zampa dismissed Williamson but James Neesham smashed three sixes from his first four balls to steer New Zealand to a mammoth total despite wickets falling at the other end.
With Guptill’s 97 (50) and Neesham’s quickfire 45* (16), New Zealand ended the innings with 219 runs in the allotted 20 overs.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 219/7 (Martin Guptill 97, James Neesham 45*; Kane Richardson 3-43); Australia 215/8 (Marcus Stoinis 78, Daniel Sams 41; Mitchell Santner 4-31) (ANI)
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