What should be India’s strategy, batting in the second innings?
In the previous post we had predicted that Dhawan may make way for Rahul, although this was a 50-50 chance. The surprise was the dropping of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar for Ishant Sharma, presumably because the pitch looked brown and devoid of grass.
In the next few sessions, India will know how many they need to get in order to win the match. The writing is on the wall for Rohit Sharma – he has still not turned the corner in the fullest form of the game. Most likely the target will be a middling one, just like the previous test.
If the target is close to 300, India needs to think out of the box. Runs have to be made quickly because the wicket is just going to deteriorate with every hour. Time to unleash Plan B(litz).
Have Rohit and Parthiv open. Go guns blazing at the target. Treat it like it is a one-day game. Both may have just one chance left to keep their places so they can play freely, go for their shots. If these two can put up 100 runs without getting separated in quick time (say 4 runs per over), that would truly make it easy for the rest of the order to make the remaining runs.
If India stays with the staid, business as usual approach, they may end up losing this quickly with a shrug saying it was a 4th innings pitch.
Kohli has made some out-of-the-blue changes, he might as well give this one a shot. Who knows, it might come off!