On a day wherein their spinners were expected to run rings around the opposition batsmen, India saw a strong resistance from the New Zealand top-order and had to remain content with just a solitary wicket from as many as 47 overs. Adding to their woes was the high frequency of intermittent breaks taken by Kane Williamson and Tom Latham which they claim as an intentional ploy to prevent them from sustaining any pressure.
During the press conference at the end of day 2, Indian batting coach Sanjay Bangar expressed the home side's annoyance to the Kiwis’ tactics. After they had been bowled out for 318, the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were unable to penetrate the strong back-foot play which meant that the visitors reached 152/1 before rain wiped out the post-tea session.
Bangar felt, “It was starting to turn a bit and the bowlers were getting into good rhythm. I think the break of rain and the intermittent breaks in between definitely hampered the bowlers' rhythm. That is something that we need to be aware of. And if somebody has come out with a ploy, we need to negotiate that as well. That may have been a strategy and that is something we have spoken of.”
“We need to make sure that we are getting a lot of overs and that is something that the umpires are aware of that no matter how hot and humid the conditions are, you still have to make sure that the continuity of the game is not hampered. Not to read too much into it.
“But, there are certain areas wherein every individual looks to score and advantage over the opposition. Even, we do that at some point of time. That is something we need to be aware of. But ultimately, it is the spirit of the game that needs to be kept in tact.“
As per the regulations, the players are given one scheduled break during each session wherein they take drinks. However, the actual number of breaks which are commonly seen in the modern era far exceed that number with prevailing conditions having a major say.
During the post-lunch session, India got in 26 overs with 18 of those bowled by spinners. But, the bone of contention has been the unofficial breaks which amount to at least seven in that particular session.
Bangar revealed that the umpires were appraised of the situation as evidenced by them monitoring closely when Latham received treatment for cramps. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s batting coach Craig McMillan reasoned the importance of not letting Jadeja complete his overs in record time which he normally does.
McMillan believed, “Well, he has one of the shortest run-ups in world cricket. So, it is never going to take long for him to get through his overs. As a batsman, it is important you are not rushed and you take your time so you are ready to face in your own time.
“That can be difficult when someone has such a short run-up, but I thought the guys did that well. It doesn't matter what bowler you face, you have to make sure you're ready.”
With both teams aware of each other’s intentions, the next three days could make for a fascinating experience provided the rain stays away.