IND v ENG 2024: Didn’t expect Ranchi pitch to play so low on second day itself, says Paras Mhambrey

Indian batting line-up collapsed on Day 2 of the fourth Test against England in Ranchi.

Paras Mhambrey | BCCIRiding on off-spinner Shoaib Bashir’s four-wicket haul (4/84), England reduced India to 219/7 after posting 353 in their first innings on Day 2 of the fourth Test at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi.

After the day’s play, India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said that the Ranchi pitch was not a rank turner but they did not expect to play so slow that much early.

Yashasvi Jaiswal waged a lone battle with the bat for India, scoring 73 off 117 balls. Besides him, no Indian batter managed to touch the 40-run mark.

“Considering the nature of the games we’ve had previously here, the wicket tends to get slower as the day progresses,” Mhambrey said in the post-day presser.

“Historically, they slow down and play on the lower side. We expected that, but honestly, we didn’t anticipate it playing so low on the second day itself. The variable bounce was unexpected.

“As of now, I wouldn’t call it as a rank-turner; it’s just that the bounce is low, making batting a bit challenging. I don’t think there were too many balls that spun sharply or were unplayable,” he added.

The wickets in the first three Tests were rather sporting, with something in it for both the batters and bowlers. While the Hyderabad pitch for the series opener was a slow turner, the surface for the second and third Tests at Vizag and Rajkot remained relatively flat for the majority of the match.

Mhambrey made it clear that the Indian team management has no role to play in pitch preparation.

“Firstly, venues are not something we can control. The way the wicket has played out here has always been similar, never a rank turner. That’s the nature of the soil.

“There are no specific instructions from our side that we want to play on a rank-turner. Obviously, the soil here is different to what we have seen in Rajkot.”

India are trailing England in the first innings by 134 runs with Dhruv Jurel (30*) and Kuldeep Yadav (17*) unbeaten in the middle.

With the hosts set to bat last, Mhambrey hoped that the duo of Jurel and Kuldeep would be able to reduce the deficit on Day 3.

“We have two set batters at the crease, who have applied themselves well and put on 40-odd runs together. The important thing is to get as close to their score. That’s the first step, and then we’ll assess tomorrow how close we can get the target (England’s first innings score).

“Regardless of the number, mentally we need to prepare to chase. We need to bat well in the second innings, starting with this partnership. We need to bat better,” he said.

The England spin duo of Bashir and Tom Hartley was quicker through the air but Mhambrey said they would back their strengths.

“(Ravichandran) Ashwin is a different kind of bowler. Every individual will stick to their strengths. We don’t need to replicate what they have done. We have to stick to our strengths and hopefully keep picking wickets.

“The England spinners bowled well. Bashir maintained a good line and length, and at this level, you expect your opponents to do just that.

“He kept it simple and picked up wickets. Every spinner has their style and strengths. He stuck to his strengths – not being a big spinner, he is a tall guy, maintains his length, and keeps it simple. The same applies to (Tom) Hartley as well,” he concluded.

(With PTI Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 24 Feb, 2024

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