Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara dominated New Zealand bowlers in second innings.© AFP
India have set themselves up for a comfortable victory in the series-deciding second Test against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Thanks to Mayank Agarwal’s 150-run knock and then an outstanding all-round bowling performance led by Mohammed Siraj and Ravichandran Ashwin, India opened up a lead of 332 runs with all 10 wickets in their bank at stumps on Day 2. At this point, the timing of declaration in the second innings becomes crucial and former India pacer Zaheer Khan feels Virat Kohli should give about 40 overs to the New Zealand batters on Day 3.
India after posting 325 in their first innings, bundled New Zealand out for 62 – the lowest score ever in a Test innings in India. The Indian captain, however did not enforce the follow-on.
In their second innings, Cheteshwar Pujara walked out to open the batting with Mayank Agarwal as Shubam Gill suffered a blow on his elbow. Pujara and Agarwal batted till the end of the day’s play to take India to 69 for no loss.
Zaheer said India now will have a target in mind and would want to declare as soon as possible by scoring quick runs on the third day’s play.
“They will definitely have a target in mind. And whatever that is, they surely wouldn’t be aiming to achieve it in the first session. But they will definitely have to keep a tab on the scoring rate. The batters wouldn’t want to take too much time; that should be the approach,” Zaheer told Cricbuzz.
The former left-arm seamer said the Indian pacers can put in a much harder effort if they know they have about 40 overs to have a crack at the visitors.
“I think you will see New Zealand batting about 40-45 overs (on Day 3). At such times you want to give the bowlers enough time. If you declare at time when you your bowlers know that they’ve got bowl about 40 overs (in the day) then the seamers can give their all. Then you can come back and attack again in the next day,” he said.
Zaheer said that the Wankhede track is likely to get harder to bat as the game progresses.
“There is no doubt that the wicket is deteriorate further. The longer you bat on this surface the harder it is going to be in the fourth innings,” Zaheer added.
Topics mentioned in this article