In his column for Hindustan Times, former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has spoken about India’s inability to play swing bowling in recent times. He made this revelation after India was dismissed for their lowest-ever score in test cricket by the Australians. Australia won the first test in Adelaide and thereby taking the upper-hand in the series. It is India’s worst batting performance in their 88 years of Test cricket. India will be without their skipper Virat Kohli as the challenge of countering the swing will toughen up in the remainder of the series.
He spoke about the dismissal of Prithvi Shaw, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane in his attempt at explaining what he exactly meant by his explanation.
“Prithvi Shaw was gone the day before, carrying bad form into both innings. His issue for now is his high backlift. The bat seems to be coming down late on the ball; however quick anyone is bowling, when batting at the highest level the bat must be down and ready to meet the ball. This is not happening with Shaw” wrote Manjekar.
Sanjay Manjrekar Criticises India’s Batting Collapse in Adelaide
He then came down to explaining Virat Kohli‘s dismissal. Kohli was dismissed while chasing a ball wide outside the off-stump. This weakness of his was first exposed by England pacer James Anderson in the 2014 England series. Pat Cummins drove him into the shot and Kohli committed to it only edging the ball to the slips.
“As for Virat, he is aware he has to be extremely careful when the line is wide of off-stump, and he was in the first innings when he kept leaving those balls. But in the second, he got sucked into playing that shot. I would call that a lapse of concentration and drop in restrain” wrote Sanjay Manjrekar on Kohli.
After a gritty 42 in the first innings, Kohli’s deputy Ajinkya Rahane scored a duck in the second to make matters worse for India. Rahane along with Kohli and Pujara are considered as the three best players of seam and swing bowling in the current Indian test squad. However, Rahane was just out to a bad shot to a good ball on the day.
He looks muddled in the mind more than anything else. The way he got out in the first innings missing a full-length ball by a mile after being set was one of the many indications he has given to me of his state of mind in the last three years.
“Rahane has played 66 Tests and can’t be a player at this age of his career who scores just enough to keep his place. The second innings was a perfect time for Rahane to show his worth, on his third tour of Australia, by playing a heroic innings like Virat does often and he used to pre-2017” concluded Sanjay.
India face Australia in the Boxing-Day Test match in a week’s time.