Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori believes that India captain Virat Kohli didn’t make any wrong decision by not enforcing the follow-on in the ongoing Mumbai Test despite having a 263-run lead.
Ajaz Patel’s historic 10-wicket haul saw India being bowled out for 325 in their first innings. However, the Kiwis couldn’t make much of the momentum as they themselves managed just 62 runs in their first innings, handing India a massive lead of 263 runs.
In spite of such a big lead, Kohli decided against enforcing the follow-on as Indian openers – Mayank Agarwal was joined by Cheteshwar Pujara, who opened in place of the injured Shubman Gill, came out to bat. This decision by the hosts has divided fans and experts.
Daniel Vettori reckons while most captains don’t enforce the follow-on these days as they want to give their bowlers some rest. He says that now it’s “almost impossible” for the Black Caps to make a comeback in this Test.
“Most captains around the world sort of tend to urge towards not enforcing the follow-on. Mainly to rest bowlers because of managing their workload. However, India bowled only 28-29 overs and yes Kohli could’ve chosen to opt for follow-on and make huge inroads into New Zealand. But he didn’t. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. It’ll make it incredibly difficult for New Zealand to make a comeback. It’s almost impossible,” Daniel Vettori told ESPNcricinfo.
“So therefore whatever move India made they were still on top. It’s just that people in the background love to see a follow-on enforced to see the side attack,” he added.
Out of form batters can get some time in the middle: Wasim Jaffer
Former India opener Wasim Jaffer too backed Kohli’s decision, saying that batting once again gives the out of form batters another opportunity to get runs under their belt before flying to South Africa.
“There’s so much time left in the match, there’s nothing wrong with batting again. India have a very big tour of South Africa coming up, so the out of form batters can get some time in the middle. It’s better than having any nets. So if Pujara gets runs, Kohli gets runs, it’ll be great. There are still 3 days left in the game. If the batters gain a bit of confidence, there’s nothing wrong with that,” Jaffer said.
Agarwal and Pujara took India to stumps on Day 2 unscathed at the score of 69/0, extending their lead by 332 runs.
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