Virat Kohli was right in declaring against England, Steve Smith failed at the exact same thing

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© Getty Images Virat Kohli was right in declaring against England, Steve Smith failed at the exact same thing

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SportsCafe Desk


Ritesh Misra writes that Virat Kohli's decision to declare at 759/7 against England was right as it allowed Karun Nair to score a rare triple century and instill self-belief. In contrast, he says Steven Smith's decision to deny Adam Voges a 300 against West Indies in 2015 amounted to nothing.


"Was Indian captain Virat Kohli right in allowing him time to get to 300? Or should he have declared earlier, when Karun was on 250, so as to give India’s bowlers extra time to make a late break-through. To be fair to Karun, he upped the ante and took just 33 balls to progress from 250 to 300. The pitch was supposed to be placid. The majority of the pundits were of the opinion that England should have been put in with an hour or so of play. England survived the five overs they had to play. They even survived the first two hours of the fifth day and went in for lunch with all ten wickets left."

The series was already won three-nil. Even if England drew, there was little difference to the overall series result. If India couldn’t bowl England out in 95 overs, then there was no guarantee that they would get him out in 105-107 overs. By allowing Karun to reach a triple century, he gave him the rare honour of being only the third batsman, after Sir Garfield Sobers and Bob Simpson, to reach the milestone during their maiden Test ton innings. The achievement may also give him the confidence to play many more long innings for India, while improving the morale of the entire dressing room

In contrast, during the first Test between Australia and the West Indies in 2015, captain Steve Smith declared his innings at 4/583 when Adam Voges was 269 not out. The declaration denied his batsman a chance to go in for a historic triple century. This was in line with the Australian thinking that personal landmarks have no role in a team game. But Steve Smith was wrong to declare. Australia were 583/4 in only 114 overs. Their run-rate was over five runs an over. It was not even lunch time on the second day and time was not of the essence.

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