A home Test series for India generally includes one or two marathon innings that don’t require India to bat for the second time. It didn’t happen in Kanpur but India captain Virat Kohli is on the lookout for the opportunity.
“As a home side, we feel if we are able to put big runs on the board, that obviously puts pressure on the opposition regardless of the wicket we are playing on,” said Kohli.
“Once you have a big score on the board, the opposition feels they have to work that extra bit or bat a session-and-a-half more than they would like to. That gives you an advantage in the game.”
New Zealand would be dreading that. Not only does it mean they would have to field and bat longer, it would also create greater fatigue due to extreme heat.
“It’s very difficult to start your innings here. The longer you bat, the harder it gets. You have to keep yourself hydrated. Our 12th man last time did a fantastic job running around with the drinks,” said New Zealand opener Tom Latham at Eden Gardens on Thursday.
It’s not just warm in Kolkata, but stiflingly humid as well. Right now, Auckland is experiencing a cool breeze with the temperature fluctuating between 14 and 16 degrees. In Kolkata, it’s around 30 degrees but the humidity is sapping at 84%. The New Zealand players won’t be blamed if they feel a little stretched after coping with R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, and the heat as well.
It also explains why they have chosen to stay indoors for bulk of the time they aren’t training. “We haven’t been out of the hotel really. We went to a mall yesterday (Wednesday) and took a small drive. We have seen a little bit of India but haven’t been out too much,” said Latham.