"You didn't bowl bouncers at all on the 1st day" - Aakash Chopra on India's bowlers bouncing back strongly on Day 2 of the WTC final
Aakash Chopra has lauded the Indian bowlers for bouncing back strongly on Day 2 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
India restricted Australia to 469 after Pat Cummins' side ended Day 1 on 327/3 and seemed headed for a 500-plus total. However, Rohit Sharma and Co. were then reduced to 151/5 by the close of play at The Oval on Thursday (June 8), still trailing the Aussies by a massive 318 runs.
While reflecting on India's second-day bowling effort in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra highlighted that they targeted Travis Head with short-pitched bowling:
"India actually bounced back strongly. They started bowling bouncers to Travis Head. You didn't bowl bouncers at all on the first day. On the second day morning, you come with a barrage of bouncers."
The former Indian opener added that he even predicted the left-handed batter's dismissal:
"Bouncers were being bowled from both ends and when the spell was on, I even tweeted that a wicket is about to come and Travis Head should get out, and he got out caught behind."
Head smashed a blazing 163 runs off just 174 balls. He added 285 runs for the fourth wicket with Steve Smith (121 off 268) before he fended a short delivery from Mohammed Siraj to Srikar Bharat behind the wickets.
"Lord Thakur has amazing wicket-taking luck" - Aakash Chopra on Shardul Thakur's dismissal of Steve Smith
Aakash Chopra pointed out that Shardul Thakur's Midas touch helped him account for Steve Smith's dismissal:
"Steve Smith was still there but Lord Thakur has amazing wicket-taking luck. There was nothing special in the ball but he got a wicket. It's not important whether it's a wicket-taking ball or not but whether you got a wicket or not. He dismissed set batters in David Warner and Steve Smith and both weren't wicket-taking balls."
Chopra praised Mohammed Siraj for finishing with a four-wicket haul after Mohammad Shami got rid of Cameron Green:
"Shami dismissed Cameron Green, Shubman Gill took a good catch. Then Siraj comes to the party. Siraj takes four wickets and the opposition team were restricted to 469, which is not a great outcome, but the good thing is that if you are 327/3 and get all out for 469 - you will say the bowlers made a comeback at least."
Siraj (4/108) was India's most successful bowler. While Shami and Shardul picked up two wickets apiece, Ravindra Jadeja trapped Alex Carey in front of the wickets when the batter attempted a reverse sweep. Axar Patel, who came in as a substitute fielder, ran out Mitchell Starc with a direct hit.