With Shreyas Iyer in good form, India set a 284-run target for New Zealand on the 4th day of the first Test in Kanpur. Despite the strong target, the home team’s senior batsmen failed to impress again, with Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara adding only 22 and 4 runs respectively to the scoreboard. Speaking to Star Sports, former New Zealand cricketer Simon Dowell criticized Rahane’s play and said the waiting captain should “worry” about his form.
Rahane was caught in LPW form in the 15th over by Ajaz Patel in the 15th over of India’s second innings. The spinner threw an angle and Rahane tried to defend it. The ball bounced off his paddle in front of the stumps as Batter misjudged his block.
With 33-year-old Mayang Agarwal, who was on the non-striker end, he decided not to reconsider it.
“He’s a better player than that. Since 2019 he’s seen a lot of full over off stumps, off-stumps. Dowell said.
“So, he’s worried about the outings against the spin bowler,” he continued.
The former cricketer compared the Indian team for the first Test to famous cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid and realized that they were nowhere near their standard.
“Generally you will think of Indian players, Indian conditions, best spinners. I do not think the current growth of Indian players is anywhere close to the quality of spinners of the past years. Players like Laxman, Dravid, Sachin and Gautam Gambhir excelled in spin. Not better, he said.
Dool also felt that it would be difficult for the Indian batsmen to face the spin bowling as there were no top spinners in the country in domestic cricket.
“Now, because the current spinners do not play domestic cricket the best quality Jadejas, Jadejas, Ashwins, Akshar Patels so the batsmen do not face the best quality spin? Or the batsmen? Do not play enough domestic cricket to face the best quality spin?”
Iyer’s superb century helped India to 345 in the first innings. In reply, New Zealand scored 296 in their first innings, with Akshar Patel taking five wickets.
In his second innings, Iyer declared another half-century as India reached 234 for seven.
By the end of the 4th day’s play, the spectators had scored 4 runs for the loss of one wicket. New Zealand need 280 runs on the 5th day to win the Test match.
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