Former India opener Aakash Chopra has made his prediction for Day 2 of the first Test between India and New Zealand in Kanpur.
The hosts ended the first day at 258/4, riding on a 113-run stand between Shreyas Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja for the fifth wicket. They looked in complete control in the final session as India remained unscathed to finish the day's play in the driver's seat.
Aakash Chopra made his predictions for Day 2's play in a video shared on his YouTube channel. He stated that one between Iyer and Jadeja will go on to score a hundred. He said:
"One batsman between Jadeja and Iyer will score a century. I have a feeling that Jadeja might reach the three-figure mark. If Iyer can achieve the landmark, it will be a huge moment for him. That would be incredible but I have hopes from Jadeja."
Shreyas Iyer, who made his debut today, is currently batting at 75 while Jadeja is unbeaten on 50. India were in a spot of bother at 145/4 with the top-order back in the hut. But Iyer and Jadeja resisted well to take India on top.
Aakash Chopra also predicted that India will go on to score 375+ runs in the first innings despite Kyle Jamieson finishing with a five-wicket haul.
"I believe India will cross 375 runs quite easily. Actually i feel like they will score 450 runs but I can assure that they will put 375+ run on the board. However, with the new ball on offer, things can radically change in the first one hour. After the current set of batters, Saha will come, who has not Test match for a while, followed by Ashwin and Axar," the popular commentator continued.
"Jamieson, who looked outstanding on day 1 will continue the good work on day 2 and will finish with a minimum of five wickets with the spinners looking pretty ordinary," Aakash Chopra added.
Aakash also believes India will dismiss at least three New Zealand batters before the end of the second day of play.
"India will pick up at least three wickets on day 2. This means day 2's play will shift the game completely in favour of India," Aakash Chopra said.
Shreyas Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja will hope to keep up the momentum when they resume play on Day 2. Meanwhile the Kiwis will aim to come hard at the Indian batters with the new ball, which is only four overs old.
"Quality of umpiring is getting compromised" - Aakash Chopra
The standard of umpiring looked average in the first Test with Virender Sharma missing out on a couple of regular calls.
Aakash Chopra pointed out that cricket teams stay and play in bio-bubbles. Hence, the umpires can also do the same while highlighting the need for having neutral umpires. He said:
"Virender Sharma was the umpire on both occasions and he is not a neutral umpire. I am not saying they are biased but one question that comes up is about the quality of the umpires because Virender Sharma is not an ICC panel umpire and ideally he should not be umpiring in a Test match."
"The quality of umpiring is getting compromised which raises questions like if teams can travel and stay in bio-bubble then why can't umpires. There is a need for neutral umpires just for the sanctity of the game," Aakash Chopra concluded.
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Since the novel coronavirus arrived in 2020, the ICC has appointed home umpires to keep the players and the crew involved with the game safe. The decision has been met with a couple of below-standard umpires officiating the matches.