UNITED KINGDOM. Southampton. The Rose Bowl: Team India had a very good first play day at Southampton in the WTC final but the second day was a completely different one. India only lost 3 wickets and scored close to 150 runs with captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane establishing a good partnership. But day three saw a batting collapse and India bundled out a meager 217 runs on the board. From 146 for 3 to 217 all out was a collapse which needs a little bit of dissection. The three wickets that are responsible for the below-the-par score are the wickets of Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, and Ajinkya Rahane.
He was an overnight not-out batsman and a huge responsibility was on his shoulder to put a decent score for India. The condition at Southampton was gloomy and the ball was swinging and seaming. 6 feet 8 inches tall Kyle Jamieson was releasing the ball at 2.3m height, 30 cm more than the standard seamer. The ball at that height was sure to get more bounce. The ball which took Kohli’s wicket was an in-swinger. It pitched just outside the off-stump and seamed in to beat the forward defense of Kohli. The incoming ball is troubling the Indian Captain since morning. Yesterday new Zealand bowlers were bowling him out-swingers more and he was leaving very adroitly. He couldn’t add to his overnight score.
He was the troubleshooter for India for the last year or so. His daredevil and flamboyant style of playing cricket took the Indian innings from choppy water a few times. He was aware of the fact that he had to curb his instinct if India had to score a safe total. He left and defended 18 balls before opening his account with a mid-wicket drive for four. When Jamieson bowled him an overpitched ball at the sixth stump, he could have easily left it. But his eyes might have lit to see it an opportunity to score a boundary. The ball swung and took an outside edge and Latham took a sharp catch at slip. A more restrained Pant would have left the ball safely.
The most dependable batsman in the morning session was Ajinkya Rahane. He was playing and leaving balls judiciously. He was the man in charge after the dismissal of Kohli. A ball before he got out, he tried to pull the short pitch ball from boult. The pull was not timed well and it skied high and fell in no men’s land. Seeing this, New Zealand Captain, ken Williamson, bought an extra man at square leg. Same short pitch ball and Rahane lured into playing pull again. This time the ball landed in the hands of the fielder who was placed for this kind of false shot. More than anybody, Rahane had himself to blame. With his departure, India’s chances of posting a good score came to end.
At the close of day three, New Zealand was 101 for 2. If the fourth day’s play is possible then, Indian bowlers must have to deliver good to snatch some advantage which New Zealand has right now.