A stalwart in the domestic circuit, Wasim Jaffer is hopeful of the fact that India will bounce back from their comprehensive defeat by 10 wickets at the hands of New Zealand in the opening Test of the two-match series. However, for that to happen, Jaffer insisted that the Indian batsmen need to convert their starts into big scores and put up a sizeable total in the 1st innings.
He is also optimistic about the fact that skipper Virat Kohli, who has been going through a rough patch in this tour so far, will come out all guns blazing in the must-win second Test slated to be played at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch from February 29.
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Jaffer was quoted as saying by PTI:
"Virat has a lean patch for a while, so I am expecting him to come back stronger. Pujara needs some runs under his belt. Most importantly they need to convert their starts into three figures if that doesn't happen and if we don't put a score of 350-400 runs then it is difficult."
"In 200-250 (runs) you can't win a Test match unless there is much help from the pitch. When we bat first or bat second, we need to score 400-450 runs."
India were skittled out for less than 200 in both their innings in the 1st Test as they were found wanting in front of the swinging ball. Debutant Kyle Jamieson made an immediate impact as he bagged 4 wickets in the 1st innings and shared a match-defining partnership with Colin de Grandhomme. In the 2nd innings, it was Trent Boult and Tim Southee who bagged 9 wickets between them to skittle India out for 191.
Jaffer said that getting bundled out for less than 200 in both the innings didn’t justify India’s tag of being the No.1 Test side in the world.
"They kept our run-rate in check and kept our batsmen under pressure for long periods. I felt that in the first innings the conditions were favourable for bowlers, but they worked out an strategy of bouncers and we should have batted better in the second innings. To get out both times under 200 is unlike the number one Test team."
Jaffer has no doubt that India will bounce back strongly in the 2nd Test. With the Christchurch surface likely to assist the Indian pacers, a comeback is definitely on the cards.
"There is no doubt that they India will come back hard in the next Test (at Christchurch), which they should and they have always done that in the past. Whenever they have been put under pressure, they have bounced back very strongly. I'm expecting the same thing."
Published 27 Feb 2020, 18:28 IST