Former Indian batsman Aakash Chopra opined that the day belonged to New Zealand but the slight hiccups at the final moments of days’ play might just add some pressure to them. New Zealand bowled extremely well on the third day of the ICC World Test Championship and Kyle Jamieson proved to be a big asset again picking up his fifth five-wicket haul in just eight tests to bundle out India for 217 in the first innings.
India on the other hand, couldn’t get many contributions from the lower order while the vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane who was the top scorer for the side was dismissed in a very poor way when he was at 49. New Zealand is looking comfortable at the moment with the scoreboard showing the Kiwis just trailing by 116 runs with eight wickets in hand.
Aakash Chopra Opines Things Could Change Very Quickly
Aakash Chopra revealed the way India were in the driver’s seat at the end of day two with two batsmen, but it totally changed on the third day with the ball moving and he also noted that there weren’t many contributions from the lower order which could well the case for New Zealand as well on day four. It is going to be exciting to see if New Zealand can find a way through and get the much-important lead.
“They (New Zealand) also have to look at where India was. They were 146 for 3, two set batsmen but come next morning, it’s a different world altogether. The ball is moving again, you find the edges, India’s tail hasn’t wagged, the middle-order has collapsed and you haven’t reached where you wanted to reach. Similar things can unfold tomorrow as well,” Aakash Chopra said on his Youtube Channel.
“India Fast Bowlers Need To Find Swing” – Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra mentioned that a 30-40 run lead is insignificant in a match like this and New Zealand will need a minimum of 150-run lead as they will bat last which is the toughest phase. He also noted that Ashwin is starting to find some turn while the Indian seamers have lacked swing rather than discipline. He added that if Indian fast bowlers can swing it, then the match will be back in their hands.
“So from a New Zealand point of view, they know they are not out of the woods at all. Keep in mind, the moment you bowl first, you have to bat last and you have to bat the opposition out. So a 30-40 run lead is insignificant. You have to take at least a 150-run lead to make a match of it, seal the advantage of bowling first”
“Things might change, Ashwin has already got a wicket. He is getting a bit of turn. Swing is the only area where Indian bowlers are lagging behind, not the discipline nor the effort. Ishant was the only Indian bowler who was able to swing. Tomorrow is the day where India fast bowlers need to find swing. If they are able to do that, the match will swing in India’s favour,” he added.
The fourth day is expected to be rainy, and any interruption will be a big factor in the outcome of the match where all three results are possible still.