India were left just one wicket away from securing a win at Kanpur. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to happen as Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel had a solid defensive partnership. Questions arise if India had declared earlier, maybe they could have had more overs to bowl, and in turn more chances to get wickets. Did the declaration come a little too late? India Head Coach Rahul Dravid doesn’t think so.
We needed a longer partnership at that stage – Dravid
When asked if Saha and Axar should had played more attacking shots so that the team could had declared earlier, Dravid responded, “I don’t think so,” Dravid said. “That is not my reading of the game. Till half an hour before we declared, we were under pressure. All three results were possible.
“To be very honest with you, if we had got out – Wriddhiman Shaha showed great courage and character to be batting with the stiff neck that he had – if we had lost our three wickets quickly and they were chasing 240-250 in approximately 110 overs, then they are looking at 2.2-2.3 runs an over. So no that is not my reading of the game. We needed that partnership. We lost Shreyas just before tea. Then we had that partnership, which was critical for us. From 167 for 7 to get to 230 for 7 was absolutely necessary. If this wicket was turning square and bouncing, and we had both the edges in play, I would have… you know there would have been a different situation.
“My reading of the game was not that at all. Even today you walk into the ground, and you know the opposition needs just under three an over. That’s not a lot of runs if a couple of batters get set. Of course, we thought we did it well. We timed it well. We managed to get a wicket yesterday, and we came very close today. We were under pressure as well, people forget that, even 45 minutes before we declared.”
Dravid lauds his bowlers for bringing India so close
As visible to everyone, the pitch was low and slow, didn’t have either turn or bounce. Such pitches are considered a nightmare for bowlers. Yet, Indian bowlers excelled. They understood that the best way to strike wickets was either LBW or bowled.
“I think we did a great job in spite of that,” he said. “It was tough. Look we expect it to be tough in Kanpur. Let’s be honest, I have played here before, I know wickets here can be tough, but this was probably even lower and slower than anything I have experienced here.
“Usually on day five you should get little more help. The cracks widen up a little bit. I don’t know, maybe it is the winter. I don’t know what it was but it just felt like if you wanted to block and not score runs, it was difficult to get you out. We saw that. We had quality guys who were able to make a game out of this. Otherwise this could have been a dull draw.”