WTC Final 2021: 250-Plus Will Be A Reasonably Good Total, Says Vikram Rathour

Vikram Rathour on Saturday picked a total that he feels will put India in a fighting position against New Zealand in the World Test Championship final. India’s batsmen managed to fight off a damp pitch, overcast conditions, and a lethal fast bowling unit on Day 2 of the World Test Championship final at the Ageas Bowl against New Zealand. Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill batted cautiously at the top to give India a solid start in Southampton, but they lost three quick wickets after the opening stand. However, captain Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane struck an unbeaten 58-run partnership for the fourth wicket

WTC Final 2021: 250-Plus Will Be A Reasonably Good Total, Says Vikram Rathour

Vikram Rathour on Saturday picked a total that he feels will put India in a fighting position against New Zealand in the World Test Championship final. India’s batsmen managed to fight off a damp pitch, overcast conditions, and a lethal fast bowling unit on Day 2 of the World Test Championship final at the Ageas Bowl against New Zealand.

Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill batted cautiously at the top to give India a solid start in Southampton, but they lost three quick wickets after the opening stand. However, captain Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane struck an unbeaten 58-run partnership for the fourth wicket to navigate the team to 146/3 at the end of the day’s play on Saturday.

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane walk off the field after stumps on Day 2. (Getty Images)

Vikram Rathour: 250 Plus Score Will Be A Reasonable Score In Prevailing Conditions

Virat Kohli is batting on 44 while Ajinkya Rahane remains unbeaten on 29 as India will look to continue to build on the solid foundation laid on Day 2. Vikram Rathour, batting coach on Saturday picked a total that he feels will put India in a fighting position against in the WTC final, saying that a first innings score of 250-plus will be a good total keeping the prevailing conditions in mind.

“We would like to score as many runs as possible but 250 plus will be a reasonable score in these conditions,” Rathour said at the day-end press conference.

The batting coach Vikram Rathour lauded openers Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma for seeing off the new ball in an admirable manner as they played positively to add 62 runs.

Asked if taking stance outside the crease was to counter swing or play more attacking shots, Vikram Rathour said, “Batting is about scoring runs. Rohit and Gill showed a lot of intent and looked to score wherever they can. Hats off to Virat and Rahane for the manner in which they batted but a lot of credit should also be given to the openers.”

Vikram-Rathour-photo
Vikram-Rathour-photo

New Zealand started poorly as they bowled some poor deliveries and they were punished. Tim Southee had a tough day with the ball as he just could not find the lines and lengths, which he did seem to find, towards the fag end of the day. Kyle Jamieson was the star as he bowled probing lines and lengths and did not give much away. Neil Wagner was also at his best while Trent Boult came back well after Lunch.

India managed to get off to a good start courtesy of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. They put the loose balls away and were looking good as they raised a 50 plus run stand before Rohit Sharma departed. Shubman Gill fell soon after and Cheteshwar Pujara was soon dismissed after Lunch. Since then Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have looked solid and have managed to stay unbeaten till Stumps on Day 2.

Vikram Rathour: New Zealand Pacers Hit Good Areas During The 2nd Session

The former India opener feels that once the Dukes’ ball got a tad older, it started swinging more, and hence scoring runs became a bit difficult than what it was when the openers were batting.

“I think when the ball got a bit older, it started swinging more. Also, the New Zealand pacers hit good areas during the second session,” he said.

Kyle Jamieson (File Photo) | AP
Kyle Jamieson (File Photo) | AP

Vikram Rathour also brushed aside assertions that Cheteshwar Pujara is facing some technical problems as he has now been hit at least four times on the helmet in recent Test matches.

“We are not really concerned and he is a good player. I don’t think the pace is an issue with him. Till he batted, he looked solid and he has a role to play in the team. Today also, he played 50 oddballs. He just needs to convert those starts. It’s going to happen very soon,” Vikram Rathour said.

India’s drought of first wicket’s 60-plus stand in England in more than 10 years ended. India lost their first wicket for 62 runs on board in 20.1 overs as Rohit Sharma was dismissed for 34 off 68. Kyle Jamieson has caused uncertainty by going wide on the crease, and the outswing takes the edge for a lovely low catch at third slip by Tim Southee.

Neil Wagner swung the first ball back into , and two balls later he bowled the same length, making him push at the ball, which held its line this time and took the edge as India lost their second wicket on 63 in 24.3 overs with Shubman Gill being dismissed after scoring 28 off 64.

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Sneh Rana Scores Half-Century And Bags 4 Scalps On Her Test Debut

Sneh Rana became the first Indian women’s cricketer to achieve a notable feat with her brilliant all-around display against England women. She became the first Indian woman to score a half-century and bag a four-wicket haul on her Test debut. Playing her first international match, Sneha Rana made a remarkable statement with her all-around skills in the one-off Test match against England in Bristol. Sneh Rana Scores Half-Century And Took 4 Scalps In Her Test Debut As Her Partnership With Taniya Bhatiya Saves The Test All-rounder Sneh Rana became the first Indian woman and fourth overall to score a half-century

Sneh Rana Scores Half-Century And Bags 4 Scalps On Her Test Debut

Sneh Rana became the first Indian women’s cricketer to achieve a notable feat with her brilliant all-around display against England women. She became the first Indian woman to score a half-century and bag a four-wicket haul on her Test debut.

Playing her first international match, Sneha Rana made a remarkable statement with her all-around skills in the one-off Test match against England in Bristol.

Sneh Rana remained unbeaten on 80 against England in the second innings (Courtesy: Reuters)

Sneh Rana Scores Half-Century And Took 4 Scalps In Her Test Debut As Her Partnership With Taniya Bhatiya Saves The Test

All-rounder Sneh Rana became the first Indian woman and fourth overall to score a half-century and take four wickets on Test debut.

After figures of 4/131 in England’s 1st innings, Sneh Rana scored a half-century in India’s second innings. She remained unbeaten on 80 and etched an unbeaten 104 run partnership with Taniya Bhatia (44 not out). During her unbeaten knock of 80, the all-rounder Sneh Rana scored the highest by an Indian batting at 6 or lower in Women’s Test cricket.

India's Taniya Bhatia plays a shot during the one-off Test against England. — Reuters
India’s Taniya Bhatia plays a shot during the one-off Test against England. — Reuters

The one-off women’s Test between India and England ended in a draw on the final day, with the visitors defying the home side attack to score 344 for 8 in their second innings after following on. India was 199/7 in the second innings, but the herculean effort from Sneh Rana ensured that the game is drawn as India after scoring 344/8 averted a shameful defeat at Bristol.

Shafali Verma Added Only 8 More Runs To Her Overnight Score Of 55

Following on and on the verge of defeat on the final day on Saturday, India was rescued by Sneh Rana and Taniya Bhatia’s stand, the highest 9th wicket stand for Indian women in Tests.

and Amar Singh are the two other Indians with this all-around feat in Test cricket. This feat has been done four times in women’s cricket, this being the first time by an Indian player.

Shafali Verma became the thrid youngest Indian women cricketer to play Test cricket after she was handed her debut | Photo: BCCI women
Shafali Verma became the third-youngest Indian women cricketer to play Test cricket after she was handed her debut | Photo: BCCI women

Earlier, India opener Shafali Verma (63) could add just eight more runs to her overnight score as Katherine Brunt caught her off Ecclestone in the 30th over. Smashed for a straight six in the first ball of the over, Sophie Ecclestone came back to dismiss Shafali Verma in the last delivery, with Katherine Brunt taking a spectacular catch at long-on.

Deepti Sharma and Punam Raut then showed great resilience as India took a lead of six runs with seven wickets in hand at lunch. However, a sudden lapse of concentration saw Deepti Sharma go for a reckless slog off Sophie Ecclestone in the 58th over only to drag the ball onto her leg-stump in what was the last ball before lunch.

The 17-year-old Shafali Verma had smashed 96 runs in the one-off Test against England in Bristol, providing India with a solid start in the 1st innings but despite her efforts, India was made to follow on. Earlier, England had declared their first innings at 396/9 with captain Heather Knight making 95 while Sophia Dunkley (74*) and Tammy Beaumont (66) also made significant contributions.

India 231 (Verma 96, Mandhana 78, Ecclestone 4-88, Knight 2-7) and 344 for 8 (Rana 80*, Verma 63, Sharma 54, Bhatia 44*) (f/o) drew with England 396 for 9 decl. (Knight 95, Dunkley 74*, Beaumont 66, Rana 4-131, Sharma 3-65)

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