Andhra No.9 batsman KV Sasikanth revealed that it was relatively easy to deal with Rajasthan’s short ball barrage because of the lack of pace and bounce in the wicket. From 201 for eight, Sasikanth and CV Stephen stitched a partnership of 55 runs to eventually take Andhra’s lead to 106 runs.
After a calamitous display in the first innings (dismissed for 151), Rajasthan sensed an opportunity back into the match when they dismissed five Andhra batsman for just 23 runs. Led by Khaleel Ahmed, they then proceeded to pepper the tail-end duo with short balls, but to no effect.
“I know I play bouncers really well because there [wasn’t] not too much bounce there. It [was] just coming on to the bat [nicely]. Pace was also not there so if I could see the ball I could hit it. If it was in my radar I just went for it,” Sasikanth told Sportstar.
Sasikanth, who struck eight boundaries in his innings of 54, revealed that he simply reacted to each ball and was ready to give it a go if it was in his range.
“I just reacted to the bouncer. They employed the bouncer strategy for us but we were ready for the [full deliveries]. So, if we were ready for those balls, bouncers would be so easy [to negotiate]. That’s how I prepare for bouncers; if it’s in my range I’ll go for it. I’ll just be in front of anything; if it’s short, I’ll just [duck]. That was my plan and I spoke to Stephen also about it: ‘Don’t fear, just be in front,’” he said.
The nature of the pitch quickening over time was also in the away side’s favour, helping them reduce the hosts to two down for 23 at stumps.
“Compared to the first day, [the pitch has] changed a lot. When we bowled in the first innings, it was very slow, after lunch it got a little better and today it was fine. The only problem was [the ball] was moving in the air, not after pitching, maybe because of the conditions. But the pitch has become set. In these conditions, the ball will swing. That’s the time we should apply ourselves and play,” he signed off.