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Will leaking runs in last session prove costly for India?

Last updated on: March 09, 2023 20:35 IST

IMAGE: India captain Rohit Sharma on Day 1 of the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad on Thursday. Photograph: BCCI

India's call to rotate pacers over the course of a spinner dominated Border-Gavaskar trophy has been questioned but bowling coach Paras Mhambrey insisted on Thursday that their decision will benefit the speedsters in the long term.    

Australia finished the opening day at 255/4 with Usman Khawaja scoring his 14th Test hundred in the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad.


While Mohammad Shami and Mohammed Siraj played the first two Tests, it was Umesh Yadav who got a home Test after a long time in Indore at the expense of Shami, who was rested from the game.

For the fourth and final Test, Shami is back in the playing XI while Siraj has been rested, giving a Umesh a rare back-to-back appearance in a home series.

"You have to take a call as you also have to look at the individual workload of each bowlers," Mhambrey said when asked if pacers' rhythm gets affected due to this break in game time.

IMAGE: Usman Khawaja, who hit a century, and Cameron Green (49) helped Australia score 106 runs in the final session to take the upper hand on Day 1 of the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad on Thursday. Photograph: BCCI

"I think the way we looked at Shami, we needed to give him that break and it was an opportunity for us that someone like Siraj or Umesh also get a game.

"Looking ahead after this series, we have the World Championship (final) and we need to look at that as well. You have to at times, rotate bowlers and it is important for players as well," he outlined.

IMAGE: Virat Kohli speaks to Usman Khawaja. Photograph: BCCI

Umesh, who was the best Indian bowler on view during the Australian first innings at Indore, conceded as many as 11 boundaries in his 0/58 in 15 overs going at an economy rate of nearly 4 runs per over.

"Ideally, you want a bowler to have two or three games consecutively but in these conditions, it might not happen.

"He (Umesh) looked in great rhythm in Indore in that spell that he bowled and he picked three quick wickets and there are days when you land up don't getting a rhythm.

"May be that first spell that he bowled (to Travis Head) but later on he put the ball in right areas and was effective for us," Mhambrey said in his defence.

IMAGE: India's bowling coach Paras Mhambrey speaks to the media after the first day's play. Photograph: BCCI

Mhambrey termed the Motera track as a batting belter but expected that spinners will get some purchase off the track from the third day.

"Looks like a batting track. We expected that having seen the wicket yesterday, unlike other three venues that we played at," said Mhambrey.  

The former India medium pacer believes that his bowlers conceded extra runs in the last 10 overs of the day.

"First session, they batted well. Initially the runs that were leaked and second session was good for us but as the ball got old, run scoring became difficult and the last session became difficult.

"We conceded 56 in last 10 overs and I thought the game slightly drifted there from us. End of day, if it was 220/4, it would have been a good for us. Yes, we gave slightly more runs in last session."

Mhambrey opined that the wicket will remain firm even on second day.

"No, I think as the game progress, may be third session tomorrow there could a little turn and you saw a couple of balls did turn but nothing compared to what you saw earlier.

"You may see little turn from third day, there will be little help for spinners."

IMAGE: India captain Rohit Sharma discusses tactics with Ravindra Jadeja. Photograph: BCCI

India took the second new ball in the 81st over and Mhambrey himself said that on a slowish track, scoring runs off soft old SG Test wasn't an easy proposition.

Shouldn't India have delayed taking the second new ball?

"New ball came out of the bat better and made scoring runs easier but Rohit must have thought that nothing was happening on that wicket, so at least with spinners, new ball will go through nicely.

"Had we picked up a couple of wickets, we would have been talking differently. That's fine and that will happen."

Mhambrey didn't forget to praise Khawaja's hundred.

"I think he played really well. If you look at the way he played, he played sensibly and performed role of a sheet anchor and knowing the way game would progress, he played well."

"We tried whatever was possible on this track and sometimes you have to give credit to batsman as well," he said.


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