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India's bowling coach reacts to Ranchi pitch's unpredictably

February 24, 2024 20:18 IST

Did not expect wicket to keep so low from day two onwards: Paras Mhambrey

Rajat Patidar

IMAGE: India were reeling at 219 for seven at the end of day two with England off-spinner Shoiab Bashir grabbed a brilliant 4/84 in his second Test. Photograph: BCCI

India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey on Friday said the pitch at the JSCA Sports Complex was not a rank turner but they did not expect to play so slow on the second day itself.

The hosts were reeling at 219 for seven at the end of day two with England off-spinner Shoiab Bashir grabbed a brilliant 4/84 in his second Test.

"Considering the nature of the games we've had previously in Ranchi, the wicket tends to get slower as the day progresses," Mhambrey said after the second day's play.

"Historically, they slow down and play on the lower side. We expected that, but honestly, we didn't anticipate it playing so low on the second day itself. The variable bounce was unexpected."


"As of now, I wouldn't call it as a rank-turner; it's just that the bounce is low, making batting a bit challenging. I don't think there were too many balls that spun sharply or were unplayable."

Mhambrey further stressed that the team management has no role to play in pitch preparation and it's the local association's prerogative.

"Firstly, venues are not something we can control. The way the wicket has played out here has always been similar, never a rank turner. That's the nature of the soil."

"There are no specific instructions from our side that we want to play on a rank-turner. Obviously, the soil here is different to what we have seen in Rajkot."

'Have to be mentally ready'

With India set to bat last, Mhambrey hoped the duo of Dhurv Jurel and Kuldeep Yadav will be able to reduce the deficit. India are still trailing by 134 runs.

"We have two set batters at the crease, who have applied themselves well and put on 40-odd runs together. The important thing is to get as close to their score. That's the first step, and then we'll assess tomorrow how close we can get the target (England's first innings score)."

"Regardless of the number, mentally we need to prepare to chase. We need to bat well in the second innings, starting with this partnership. We need to bat better," he said.

The England spin duo of Bashir and Tom Hartley was quicker through the air and asked if that's the way forward, Mhambrey said they would back their strengths.

"(Ravichandran) Ashwin is a different kind of bowler. Every individual will stick to their strengths. We don't need to replicate what they have done. We have to stick to our strengths and hopefully keep picking wickets."

"The England spinners bowled well. Bashir maintained a good line and length, and at this level, you expect your opponents to do just that."

"He kept it simple and picked up wickets. Every spinner has their style and strengths. He stuck to his strengths - not being a big spinner, he is a tall guy, maintains his length, and keeps it simple. The same applies to (Tom) Hartley as well," he signed off. 

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