IND Vs NZ: India keen to send back tailenders quicker
In the first Test, New Zealand's last three wickets added 123 runs, including a career-high score of 38 by No.11 Trent Boult. It led to the Black Caps gaining a substantial lead of 183 runs.
At the end of India head coach Ravi Shastri's press conference on Friday, a journalist asked if pace ace Jasprit Bumrah should be bowling more yorkers. "I will tell him that," quipped Shatri before leaving. Perhaps, there was some substance in the question. For, India don't seem to know how to blow the tail away.
In the first Test, New Zealand's last three wickets added 123 runs, including a career high score of 38 by No.11 Trent Boult. It led to the Black Caps gaining a substantial lead of 183 runs. Skipper Virat Kohli had stated at the end of the match that is always difficult to fight back after conceding such a big lead.
The green pitch at the Hagley Oval here means the toss will be vital and if India are on the wrong end again, they can ill afford to let the lower order accumulate critical runs. Shastri said the team management has spoken about plans to knock over the lower order. Bumrah is seen as the go-to man to rattle the tail due to his ability to bowl yorkers. During the Wellington Test, Bumrah bowled only one yorker. With Ishant likely to be out of the second Test, Umesh Yadav's pace will provide India an alternative option.
"It has been a problem for us in the last year or so. We have had a chat on that, how to look into bowling at the tail. Either, we are being over-aggressive or too defensive at times. We have had a chat on that and we will look to address it in a different manner," Shastri stated.
One thing that is bound to frustrate India is that despite being in New Zealand for over a month, they have struggled to tackle the Kiwi bowlers. Shastri defended his team by stating the transformation in between formats is a challenge and Test cricket should be looked differently from shorter formats. He was also the first to credit New Zealand, but at the same felt a defeat was an eye-opener for his team.
"I always believe when you are on a run like we were, a shake-up like that is good because it opens your mindset. When you are on the road winning all the time, or you have not tasted defeat, you can have a closed mindset, a fixed mindset. Here, once you have seen what has happened, which is good, there are opportunities to learn," he said.
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