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The star-studded Indian batting line-up was restricted to under a rate of three runs per over

Thursday, March 19, 2022



Spot of bother


Arun G


New Zealand restricted a star-studded Indian batting line-up to scoring under a rate of three runs per over on the second day of the Hamilton Test – an incredible achievement that. Especially if you consider the pitch had flattened out and there was no assistance whatsoever for the bowlers.

How did they do that? Well, their mantra was simple – maintain discipline, bowl one side of the wicket and frustrate the Indian batsmen. It was a tactic similar to the one used in the Test series between India and Australia last year – while Australia succumbed to the tactic on that occasion, the Indians here showed they had the patience and wouldn’t get frustrated.
 
Here’s a look at the lines bowled by the New Zealand fast bowlers to the right-handers in the Indian line-up on day two:

Bowling Lines to Right-handers – Day two, Hamilton Test
 
Total Balls bowled
Too wide
Good lines
Too straight
Kyle Mills
40
9
25
6
Chris Martin
59
13
43
3
Iain O’Brien
94
15
66
13
James Franklin
58
6
43
9
Jesse Ryder
42
7
33
2
Total
293
50 (17%)
210 (72%)
33 (11%)

Incredible discipline and consistency there – close to 90% of the balls were delivered in the corridor of uncertainty – in this case mostly outside the off stump, or wide outside the off stump.
 
Drilling that further down, off the 260 deliveries bowled by the Kiwi fast bowlers in that region, the Indian batsmen left alone 84 deliveries (32%) and played at 176 deliveries (68%). Drilling that one level further down, off the 176 deliveries that the Kiwis made the batsmen play, they induced 32 false shots – that’s almost one delivery every over. Outstanding numbers those, which one probably wouldn’t realize by looking at the scorecard or even take note while watching what many would call a ‘boring day of Test cricket’. Brilliant, considering this was a batting beauty.
 
It must be said as well that the Indians somehow went into a shell, and there was no concentrated effort to unsettle the bowlers. Here’s a break-up of the scoring shots from the second day’s play:

Scoring shots – Day two, Hamilton Test
Balls faced in the day
503
Runs scored in the day
242
Dot Balls
391
Ones
56
Twos
14
Threes
2
Fours
38

Glance your eyes on the number of ones run during the day – an astonishing 56 only. If you cast your mind back to the analytical piece done at the end of the first day’s play, you will recall that there were 51 singles in the partnership between Jesse Ryder and Daniel Vettori, and a total of 76 singles in the entire innings.

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