I never thought I’d see 42 or less: the former Indian captain Gundappa Viswanath

Posted by Shamik Chakrabarty |

December 20, 2020, 10:38:12 pm





Gundappa Viswanath (Source: Reuters)

Gundappa Viswanath

I was on the team when we all lost England at Lord’s at 42. But I would never say that 36 put the ghost of it to rest. I can never be happy. I never thought that India would give it all again in my life for 42 or less. It doesn’t feel good. But they just have to leave that behind and pull up their socks.

Everything connects when a team folds for such a low score. All bowlers will roll very well, top batsmen will get some very good supplies, and there won’t be much resistance from the lower order.

In Adelaide, the pitch got a little faster on the third day. The Australian bowlers bowled really well and consistently. The same thing happened with Lord. Whenever the batsmen were hit, the ball took the edge. Compared to Lord’s, where it was cloudy and the ball swung, the Adelaide Oval pitch had a bit more bounce but not much side or seam movement. All bowlers kept the batsmen under pressure.

(Cheteshwar) Pujara got one of the best deliveries one could get. He had to play it. Mayank (Agarwal) too. The ball rose and left him. (Ajinkya) Rahane played out of the fold. (Virat) Kohli went for a wider delivery; Maybe he was trying to get some quick runs to ease the pressure.

The Indian team have played enough cricket to get this out of their system. There are players on this team who have played 60-70 Tests, and even without Kohli this team can bounce back. Rahane was the captain of India a few years ago and led the team to victory.

However, some changes are essential. (Shubman) Gill has to come in place of (Prithvi) Shaw. No two options. (KL) Rahul will come instead of Kohli. I don’t know how bad (Mohammed) Shami’s injury is. Hopefully he’ll recover. Rohit (Sharma) is there, but it will only be available for the last two tests.

You need to do well on the next three tests. Forget unusual recordings. Much application is required.

India’s catch was bad. Not just in this test, but throughout the tour. It can’t happen like that. And they missed some sitters. If all of these catches had been made India would have been more than 100 ahead. The dynamic would have been different. And if they (Australia) had to score 180-190 goals in the fourth innings, it could have been a different ball game.

I’m not going to say Rahane has problems or has problems with his technique and footwork. He played very well in the first innings. It’s about staying positive all the time.

Get close to the ball

Everyone has their own style of play in terms of backlift, bat speed, use of the fold, etc. You will need to adjust to delivery, line, and length and a playtest is likely to do so. You cannot rely on advice in this regard. You cannot leave a gap between the club and the pad while playing the ball. You need to play much closer to your body, holding the clubs and pads together. You can’t swing the ball. When playing forward, go to the field of the ball to cover the swing. You cannot play blindly from your front or back foot. You need to pick the length early and cannot stay rooted on the crease. Either you go all the way forward or play your back foot. Against spinners, use your footwork to neutralize the turn and jump.

At the test level, you’ll know how to adapt to the swing, twist, and bounce. You are there because you are good enough and should be able to adapt.

I’m not going to say they (Indian batsmen) play with hard hands because so many deliveries didn’t go to the wicketkeeper or slip in the first innings. It means they played with soft hands. My advice is just that they need to get closer to the ball and be precise with their footwork.

This is test cricket. You should analyze your own game. These are not ODIs or T20s. This is a five day cricket and test matches do not take place on the fourth or fifth day. You have plenty of time to stay on the wicket. However, this is not just India’s problem. When you see it happens to every team. Australia were all out for less than 200 in their first innings. This is due to the fact that the teams don’t play enough test cricket or play it regularly.

I’m not going to blame the Indian players for not playing the Ranji Trophy. You have no time. You don’t get a window to play domestic cricket.

Test cricket is a mind game and you need to use your wits. At this level, you should be the best judge of what to do, how to adapt and how to play according to the situation.

(As Shamik Chakrabarty tells)

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