'Umesh 35, Shami not getting younger...': Ravi Shastri's fresh punch at Rohit and Co as 'India lose plot' in 4th Test
Shastri, who recently got a sharp response from Rohit Sharma for terming the Indian team overconfident, said the hosts lost the plot when they decided to take the second new ball. He said considering pacers Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami's age, it was not the right move.
Rohit Sharma has had a bittersweet time as captain in the ongoing India vs Australia fourth and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. He handled pacer Mohammed Shami really well and got two crucial wickets by bringing him into the attack when very few expected the move on Day 1. His tactic of using a bouncer barrage with Umesh Yadav right after Tea, unsettled Steve Smith, who was dismissed in the next over by Ravindra Jadeja. But towards the end of the day, Rohit's move of taking the second new ball backfired. It attracted heavy criticism from former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and former India head coach Ravi Shastri.
Cameron Green and Usman Khawaja were just building a partnership after India got two quick wickets in the post-Tea session on Day 1 of the fourth Test. With Australia at 201/4 after 81 overs, the Test match hung in balance. Considering this was the best batting track of the series, a big first-innings score should not have been a huge concern for India. But they were hoping to perhaps get a couple more with the new ball by the end of the day's play and restrict Australia within 320.
India vs Australia live score 4th Test Day 2
The exact opposite happened. Green and Khawaja used the second new ball to their advantage. They upped the scoring rate and shifted the momentum back in their favour. Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami were completely off the boil. Australia scored 54 runs in nine overs against the second new ball and went to stumps at 255 for 4.
Shastri, who recently got a sharp response from Rohit Sharma for terming the Indian team ‘overconfident’, said the hosts lost the plot when they decided to take the second new ball. The former India all-rounder said considering pacers Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami's age, it was not the right move to take the new ball that early.
"I think India lost the plot last night. Taking the new ball was not the right thing to do considering Umesh is 35, Shami is not getting any younger. They had bowled a lot. They were getting tired. A shorter burst with two overs is fine. But taking the new ball as early as that let Australia get away," Shastri said on commentary during Day 2.
India did not manage to get a wicket in the morning session on Friday as Green and Khawaja piled on the misery of the Indian bowlers. Shastri said this was a big test for Rohit Sharma as captain as this is the first time he has got a pitch which is really good for batting.
"As a captain, things have moved fast during his tenure. He has been captaining on turning tracks where things get over in three days. So, this is a big learning curve. When you play on a surface like this where wickets are hard to come, the batting is good. As a captain, you've got to put your thinking cap on, and marshall your resources. It's one thing captaining in India, one thing captaining overseas and one thing captaining in India on good tracks like these. He has all the skills, this is the exposure that he needs," he said.
Australia were 347 for 2 at Lunch on Day 2.