Indian wicketkeeper-turned commentator Dinesh Karthik has reckoned that the Virat Kohli-led unit might be on the back foot after having been bowled out for an underwhelming 217 in their first innings but they can still stage a comeback.
New Zealand seamers led by Kyle Jamieson came back brilliantly on the 3rd day as they picked up 7 wickets for a mere 61 runs to dismiss India for 217.
In reply, Tom Latham and Devon Conway stitched a 70-run-stand for the 1st wicket before Ravichandran Ashwin broke the stand by dismissing Latham.
Dinesh Karthik said that it would have been a completely different situation had New Zealand lost just 1 wicket but the late dismissal of half-centurion Devon Conway has given India a ray of hope and if they can claim early scalps on day 04, then the Virat Kohli-led India can stage a comeback.
“We have been able to come back from adversity. I think were pushed into a situation which could be tough for us. They are 101/2 but the good thing is Devon Conway got out. That’s a positive for us,” said Dinesh Karthik during the post-day show on Star Sports.
“At the end of the day if the scoreboard was 100/1, it would have looked a lot different. but 100 for two, with one batsman on 12 and the other batsman just walking in, if we can get a couple of wickets tomorrow (early on), it will be really good,” Karthik said.
India have played two spinners in the WTC final but Karthik believes that they will only come into play as the game wores on.
“The spinners don’t have much in the wicket right now. But probably with a lot more overs and lot more marks and with one more innings if NZ come and bowl, that will make things interesting for spinners. In the first innings, it’s going to be a lot more holding and keeping things tight to give enough rest to the fast bowlers. In the bargain, if they think cleverly and the batsman makes a mistake just the way Tom Latham did, you will get a catch,” he said.
Dinesh Karthik further reckoned that Team India bowlers must try and push the New Zealand batsman on the backfoot by dishing out the chin music.
“Technically tomorrow is the third day. It’s called the moving day. Whether it moves for NZ or not, India will have to get things moving. They need to bowl fuller and one more thing – bowl bouncers! We have bowlers who can bowl at over 140kmph. The moment you bowl bouncers, it creates confusion in the batsman’s mind and puts them on the back foot,” he observed.
That said, it is highly unlikely that we will get any action on day 04 due to persistent rain that is lashing out in Southampton at the moment.