Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman was on Monday pointed out a key area that Team India need 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, Laxman wants coach Rahul Dravid and batting coach Vikram Rathour to look closely.
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.
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Laxman, Indian Test batting legend, was left disappointed particularly with Pujara, who scored 26 and 22 in Kanpur, for the manner of his dismissals, pointing out a technical flaw in his game.
“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. And India are 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 the technical flaws. And that’s something I’m sure that Rahul and Vikram Rathour will look very closely,” he told Star Sports.
In both the 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, 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.
Laxman also pointed out that India should have declared a few a few overs earlier, which he felt would have made the difference.
“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.”
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