Was it gamesmanship on the part of the Kiwis or just a coincidence? Call it what you will, the many unscheduled breaks that the New Zealand batsmen took in the post-lunch session on the second day of the first Test did raise eyebrows.
And while India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar did not directly say that, he did hint at the possibility of it being a ploy to slow the game down and break the momentum of the Indian spinners, especially Ravindra Jadeja, who likes to finish his overs fast.
Bangar, while answering a question on rain interrupting play on Day Two, said, “The spinners had started getting some turn. They were getting into a good rhythm.
“The break of rain and the intermittent breaks in between definitely hampered the bowlers’ rhythm. That is something that we need to be aware of. And if somebody has come out with a ploy we need to negotiate that as well.“
He added, “That may have been a strategy, and that is something we have spoken of.We need to make sure that we are getting a lot of overs and that is something that the umpires are aware of that no mat ter how hot and humid the conditions are, you still have to make sure that the continuity of the game is not hampered.“
To balance things out, Bangar suggested that even the Indian team tries to get the advantage over the opposition wherever it can. “We also do that at some point of time,“ he admitted. Bangar hoped that match officials will keep things under control. “It is something the on-field umpires and the match referee are aware of. Obviously they will make sure that certain corrective measures will be taken in the days to come.“
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