Takeaways : Kuldeep Yadav’s journey to the unknown and Chase’s amazing control

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BCCI

India vs Windies | Takeaways : Kuldeep Yadav’s journey to the unknown and Roston Chase’s amazing control

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Bastab K Parida

10/12/2018

Roston Chase and Jason Holder injected much-needed impetus to the one-sided series and took Windies to a total of 295/7 at the end of the Day 1 of the second Test. While India started their Australia preparation by giving more overs to Kuldeep Yadav, Roston Chase impressed everyone with his control.

Kuldeep ahead of Jadeja for Australia series?

Ravindra Jadeja might feel hard-done if this happens, but from the look of India’s plans, it seems like the most ideal proposition at the moment. Today, Kuldeep was introduced in the 13th over while Jadeja had to wait until the 29th to get an over of his own and as the scorecard has it, there was a valid reason behind that as apparently, India want to give Kuldeep as many overs as possible with the red ball.

Unlike the SG ball and Dukes ball, Kookaburra - the ball that will be used in Australia - doesn’t have a pronounced seam which means getting purchase off the surface is not that easy for finger-spinners. Ravichandran Ashwin is an intelligent bowler and has the ideal pace and bounce to get something out of those surfaces, but Ravindra Jadeja becomes a complete subordinate in that case. As a biomechanist will agree, the non-bowling front arm initiates the action and the bowling arm reacts to the outcome of the applied force, which makes Kuldeep a slight variant on that. His short stature allows him natural dip creating a parabola loop to confuse the batsmen. In conditions like Australia, it is a highly underrated virtue and it might force the right-handed batsmen to open their stance and increase the chance of LBW. 

This Australia batting line-up is a fragile one and India can never get a chance better than this to experiment Kuldeep Yadav. Of course, he needs to work at his pace, which is a must in Australia and Jadeja is a better batsman than him, but as long as Kuldeep can pick wickets, everything else will just slip under the carpet.

Chase’s impressive control

There is something about a batsman’s control that immediately catches the attention in a Test match. The fluidity, authoritativeness and the ability to stand tall when going gets tough defines the character of a batsman. Although spinners got into the job too soon in the game on Day 1, there was no doubt to the fact that the wicket didn’t have much for them to spin a web around. But, Roston Chase should be credited for the way he fought. 

In a series where the Windies batsmen have been ineffective playing attacking shots - losing 13 wickets at 26.5, a wicket once in 18 shots - Chase showed magnificent control. Before reaching the 50-run mark, the Barbadian was yet to play a false shot and didn’t leave alone a single delivery. He was as calm as a monk and despite Umesh Yadav’s repeated attempts to intimidating him by bowling bouncers, Chase wasn't fazed at all. 

While he was intimidated by the Sri Lankan fast bowlers in the last Test series at home, where he succumbed to the short-pitch ball more often than not, he managed it well on the first day in Hyderabad. The Uppal pitch always encourages fast bowlers to dig it in, but at the same time, it is the same pitch that allows the batsmen to be comfortable against bouncers as you can always trust the bounce. If you have a defensive game plan against bouncers, you can stick to it without worrying about some balls not bouncing enough and that was exactly what Chase did. And that was something that needs to be done in order to be successful in the Indian conditions. 

Was Shardul Thakur fit enough to be in the squad?

In the Asia Cup, Shardul Thakur complained of right hip and groin soreness after the game against Hong Kong and was thus replaced by Siddarth Kaul. It was a fair call, but 9 days after that, he was seen representing Mumbai in a Vijay Hazare Trophy game against Punjab in Bengaluru. If someone can be fit enough to play a representational game within a week of the injury is suspicious, but BCCI could have been more proactive in their approach and asked him to take some rest when you have a top performer in the form of Mohammed Siraj.

Instead, they took the punt of playing him in the second Test in place of Mohammed Shami and as things stand now, Thakur did not take the field for the rest of the day, after having walked off in the morning due to a pain in the groin region. When Thakur landed his front foot on the bowling crease, it seemed to buckle and follow-through was not possible. The heap got affected and must have been aggravated the old injury. Everyone is waiting for the Scan report and as per the initial reports, the debutant may not take the field in the game again. 

Was it mismanagement of the injury and the extra hurriedness that the Indian team showed? Could it not have been managed better? Well, we may never get the answer. 

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