VVS Laxman Disappointed With India's Batting In The 1st Test And Felt India Should Have Declared Earlier
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VVS Laxman Disappointed With India’s Batting In The 1st Test And Felt India Should Have Declared Earlier

VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)
VVS Laxman. (File Photo: IANS)

VVS Laxman, a disappointed former Indian cricketer, pointed out an area of concern for India that Rahul Dravid and Vikram Rathour need to address following the culmination of the Kanpur Test against New Zealand.

On Monday, former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman pointed out a key area that Team India needs to address before the second Test against New Zealand, which begins on December 3 in Mumbai. Disappointed with the effort of the top-order batting line-up in the Kanpur opener, VVS Laxman wants coach Rahul Dravid and batting coach Vikram Rathour to look closely.

VVS Laxman (Image Credit: Twitter)
VVS Laxman (Image Credit: Twitter)

VVS Laxman: Disappointed With Indian Test Team’s Top Order, Particularly Cheteshwar Pujara Who Repeated His Mistakes

India’s top order (1-4), comprising two senior batters in Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, along with openers Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill, averaged only 21.25 in the Kanpur Test. This is the second time in 2021 that the Indian top order has averaged this low in a Test at home since 2010, the other being against England in Ahmedabad, where the batters combined to average 16.50 – both are among the top five in the period.

VVS Laxman, Indian Test batting legend, was left disappointed, particularly with Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 26 and 22 in Kanpur, for the manner of his dismissals, pointing out a technical flaw in his game. Mayank Agarwal managed scores of 13 and 17 in the Kanpur Test. On other hand, Ajinkya Rahane scored 35 and 4 in the 1st Test, and one of the trios has to make way for Virat Kohli, who will return in the 2nd Test.

“One thing I am disappointed with this Indian Test team after this match is their batting, especially their top order, and it needs to be addressed before the next Test. It’s not about getting out but how they got out. Pujara in the second innings, if you see the dismissal, it’s almost a repeat of the same mistakes, ” said VVS Laxman.

Rahul Dravid and Cheteshwar Pujara. (Image Source: Twitter)
Rahul Dravid and Cheteshwar Pujara. (Image Source: Twitter)

“And India is playing this Test match after a long break, so it is expected from professionals to rectify their mistake and introspect on what went wrong and continue to do what was working for you. Unfortunately, a lot of those mistakes were because of technical flaws. And that’s something I’m sure that Rahul and Vikram Rathour will look very closely,” he told Star Sports.

In both scenarios, it was debutant Shreyas Iyer who revived India’s innings. In the first innings, he scored a record 105 off 171 to help India post a total of 345. In the second innings, he scored a gutsy 65, and together with Wriddhiman Saha, who scored an unbeaten 61, the pair helped India set a mighty target of 284.

VVS Laxman: India Should Have Declared A Few Overs Earlier

VVS Laxman also pointed out that India should have declared a few overs earlier, which he felt would have made the difference as New Zealand would have struggled with spin coming into play. New Zealand was four for one when bad light stopped play, chasing a daunting victory target of 284 on a worn-out track. Opener Will Young was given lbw to Ravichandran Ashwin, which could have been reversed, but the batsman was late to review the decision.

“Yes, you wanted to get to a score which was above 274. But we all know that the last few overs are very very tough for any batsman however established he is. So I definitely feel that that probably should have bowled five overs more. That would would have been the difference. But having said that, today, the bowlers did stick to their task.”

India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)
India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)

Wriddhiman Saha roared back to form with 61 not out as India declared their second innings at 234 for 7 to set New Zealand a target of 284 runs to win the series opener. The 37-year-old Wriddhiman Saha has amassed 1313 runs in 39 Tests averaging 29.84. He has 3 tons and 6 fifties.

The fifty was Wriddhiman Saha’s sixth in Test cricket and first since August 2017. The 37-year-old, who didn’t keep wickets on Day 3 due to a stiff neck, was in visible pain throughout his knock. Indian spinners, led by Ravindra Jadeja in the 2nd innings, put up one of their most persevering performances in recent times.

Still, Mumbai-born Ajaz Patel (2 off 23 balls) and Karnataka-born Rachin Ravindra (18 not out off 91 balls) consumed 8.4 overs after the fall of the ninth wicket to keep New Zealand on an even keel in the two-match series. A lot of credit should also go to night-watchman Will Somerville (36 off 110 balls), who played the entire fifth morning first to raise visions of the improbable draw.

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