India vs Australia 2017: Virat Kohli Blames ‘Soft’ Ball After Ranchi Draw
India skipper Virat Kohli has insisted the softness of the ball denied his team a win in Ranchi. On a pitch that was providing little assistance to bowlers, both India and Australia batsmen made merry, scoring 603 and 451 in their first innings respectively. And although, Virat Kohli’s side were in pole position to take a 2-1 lead in the series after reducing the visitors to 63/4 in the opening session of the final day, Indian bowlers could do little for rest of the day as they could take only two more wickets, allowing Australia to salvage a draw.
However, Kohli didn’t blame the flat pitch but rued the softness of the ball. When asked at the presentation ceremony if the pitch was responsible for the draw, Kohli said:
“I don’t think it was the wicket. It was the ball, soft, not doing much. I don’t know about the lot of balls.”
He shed further light on his statement during the post-match conference.
“When the ball was new last night, it spun well off the rough. Even this morning, it was spinning well. In the middle session, the ball was not hard, so it could not generate that kind of pace from the wicket. On day five, the wicket slows down, we took the new ball later and got a couple of wickets. But the hardness of the ball in the middle session was a factor,” Kohli elaborated.
Well, one cannot deny the India skipper’s claims after witnessing the match. Ravindra Jadeja got enough turn and bounce when the ball was new and he fully capitalised on it by dismissing three Aussie batsmen, most importantly their in-form skipper Steven Smith. But as the day progressed, the Indian bowlers cut a sorry figure as Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh hit dodgy fifties to help their team walk away with a draw.
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