Apart from Shardul Thakur’s half-century, Mohammed Shami also added some useful runs at the Oval.Image Credit source: AFP
New Delhi: Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane. Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar against England in Ahmedabad. Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah against England at Lord’s. These are some of the partnerships that have saved India from difficult situations in different Test matches in the last two years. something like in the oval World Test Championship final Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur saved me and this is the story of the last two years.
The Indian team’s top batsman flopped in the first innings in the World Test Championship final against Australia at The Oval. Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli were dismissed for just 71 runs. Ravindra Jadeja and KS Bharat also returned till 152 runs. Means 6 wickets out.
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Lower order saved at The Oval
Despite this, India scored 296 runs in the first innings, due to the 109-run partnership between Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur. Not only this, even after Rahane’s dismissal, India added 35 more runs. That is, in total, the last 4 wickets collected 134 runs for India and kept the team in a competitive position.
This story has been going on for two years
Till about two-three years ago, the Indian team was troubled due to lack of contribution from the lower order batsmen, but from 2021 it seems that the lower order is saving the team by scoring important runs. Statistics show that in the current Test Championship cycle (2021-23), India has had a total of 20 partnerships of 50 or more for the seventh wicket or below. Out of this, there have been century partnerships 8 times, while 12 half-century partnerships.
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It is not that every time the Indian team was in trouble and only then such partnerships happened, but on most occasions it has happened like this. There is another reason for this, which can be understood from this figure. In the current cycle, out of 32 innings in which the Indian team batted, it happened in 15 innings when the number six batsman had to come for batting before the score of 100.
Team advantage but questions on top order
Obviously, the contribution of the lower order has been important in the success of the team, but it is also enough to tell that the top order has not contributed much during this period. The contribution of batsmen like Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shubman Gill and KL Rahul has not been much in these two years. Rohit Sharma scored some runs but then he was not even available for many matches. In such a situation, it would be better if the top batsmen perform according to their ability, reputation and expectations in the second innings of the final.
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