Focus on batsmen as India aim to wrestle-back advantage with series on the line

back icon
safari
04 Sep 2021 | 04:34 AM
authorAnirudh Kasargod

Focus on batsmen as India aim to wrestle-back advantage with series on the line

In what promises to be a good batting day at The Oval, the Indian batsmen will look the right the wrongs of the first innings

A lead of 138 at the start of day two looked a distant task for England at one stage when they were reduced to 62 for five within the first hour of the day. However, scrappy bowling by India’s inexperienced bowlers let the momentum slip and the visitors ended up conceding  a lead of 99 runs. The Indian openers had some nervy moments early in their innings, but they got to stumps unscathed.

India’s first agenda of the day would be to knock-off the 56-run deficit and they would accept with open arms if the openers cut it down without being separated. It will not only put India in command, but also assure the other batters that there are no demons in this pitch. 

And there is every chance that the visitors might actually knock off the deficit without a blemish, for Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have been the batsmen who have spent the most time at the crease this series for India.

Out of the total 3336 balls faced by India, Rohit and Rahul have played 40.2 percent of the balls and have scored 37 percent of the runs. This is a clear indication as to how the rest of the Indian batting line up hasn’t been up to the mark. 

As a happy memory, if Rahul manages to replicate what he did in the 2018 tour at The Oval, India will be on high grounds. Not to forget, Rishabh Pant also chipped in with 114 in that innings alongside Rahul’s innings of 149. The pair put on a partnership of 204 for the sixth wicket. Though it was in the fourth innings, it will certainly be in the back of both the batters’ minds. Perhaps in the mind of the hosts too.

The good news for India is that, regardless of how their batters have played this series, batting gets better in the third innings at The Oval. The strip at The Oval has been the best wicket to bat in the third innings across all the venues in Tests since 2015 (Minimum five matches played). Teams batting have scored at an average of 35.8, a figure that  is the second best among all venues in the aforementioned time frame. On average, teams have scored 321 runs at the Oval in the third innings.  

A tale of two innings

Another aspect that could potentially work in India’s favour is Jimmy Anderson’s surprisingly underwhelming showings in the second innings of matches, recently. In home Tests since 2020, Anderson has bagged 33 wickets at an average of 27.8 and strike rate of 68.1. Out of the 33 wickets, 30 have come in the first innings at a staggering average of 19.4 and a strike rate of 48.2. However, in the second innings, the numbers take a nosedive. In 10 innings, he has only taken three wickets at an average of 111.7 and a strike rate of 268.


Shockingly, the senior pro has fallen behind each of his teammates. Among bowlers who have picked up at least two wickets in the second dig, Dom Bess has the second-worst average (61.3) and strike rate (116.3), but even his numbers are significantly better than that of the veteran.  Overall, Anderson aside, the other English bowlers in total have bagged wickets at an average of 22.0 and a strike rate of 46 in the second innings.


Anderson’s second-innings struggles should serve as a relief for the visitors. Though the rest of the bowlers are still a thorn in their path, a below-par showing from Anderson would give India huge breathing space. But there is one thing that could fall in the 39-year-old’s favour and that is the overhead conditions. The first few hours of the third day are expected to be cloudy, so write Anderson off at your own peril.

heart
shareGray Share
Tags
England vs IndiaIndia tour of England, 2021IndiaEnglandJames AndersonKL RahulRohit Sharma

Related Articles

safari
OPINION
Bat first, post a high score, and win - the mantra of victory in Manchester
The Old Trafford has been a good wicket to bat in the first innings and hence teams batting first have won five out of six Tests since 2015
userAnirudh Kasargod
10 Sep 2021
safari
ANALYSIS
Solidity the need of the hour as India aim to overcome ghosts of Headingley
Having done all the hard work on Day 3, it would be imperative for the visitors to not squander the advantage in the first session on Sunday
userAnirudh Kasargod
05 Sep 2021
safari
ANALYSIS
Determined India look to dent England’s charge on day two
Despite having been bowled out for 191, there might be light at the end of the tunnel for the visitors
userAnirudh Kasargod
03 Sep 2021
safari
OPINION
India look to fight back amid tainted memories of third innings
India's batting numbers in the third innings of an away/neutral Test match are among the lowest in recent years
usercricket.com staff
15 Aug 2021
safari
OPINION
Sibley and Root stand between India and an imminent victory
In Tests since 2019, Indian pacers have bagged wickets at a strike rate and an average better than all sides in the second innings
usercricket.com staff
07 Aug 2021
safari
OPINION
Can India’s openers repeat the 2018 Nottingham effort to provide a good start?
India’s opening partnership posted 50+ scores in both innings the last time they played in Nottingham (2018)
usercricket.com staff
05 Aug 2021
safari
OPINION
Slow and steady don't always win the race
Mithali Raj and Co. have clearly struggled while batting first in ODIs and it's largely because of their overcautious approach
userHardik Worah
29 Jun 2021
safari
FANTASY
INDIA vs ENGLAND, 1st T20I: Fantasy Preview
Here are few tips and suggestions that could help in creating the fantasy team for the first T20I between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
userCricket.com Staff
11 Mar 2021
safari
YEAR END REVIEW
Test Team of the Year, 2019
Here is an XI acknowledging the best performers in Test cricket this year
userCricket.com Staff
31 Dec 2019
safari
YEAR-END REVIEW
ODI Team of the Year, 2019
Here is an XI acknowledging the best performers in ODI cricket this year
userCricket.com Staff
30 Dec 2019
logo
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
FacebookTwitterLinkedin
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved