WTC Final - 'Perennial problem': Laxman points out what hurt India on day 5
- WTC Final: According to former India Test batsman VVS Laxman, India lost the initiative on the fifth day despite being in a commanding position.
India's start to the reserve day of the World Test Championship (WTC) Final was a disastrous one as they lost both the overnight batsmen Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara in quick succession during the first hour of play as New Zealand came roaring back in contention to force a result.
According to former India Test batsman VVS Laxman, India lost the initiative on the fifth day despite being in a commanding position. Laxman said in the pre-match show, Cricket Live on Star Sports, that India were in a great position after reducing New Zealand to 135/5 at lunch, but failed to remove the tail and gave away a lead instead of taking one.
"India were in a great position but the perennial problem of not being able to bowl out the tailenders came back to haunt them. The 80 runs that the last four New Zealanders got, imagine it was only 30 runs. Those extra 50 runs would have given India the advantage on the last day of this ultimate Test," Laxman said.
India looked good to take a lead when Colin de Grandhomme was dismissed with the score on 162/6. But Kyle Jamieson (21) and Tim Southee (30) scored some useful boundaries which helped New Zealand first close the deficit and then took them into an all-important 32-run lead.
This meant the Indian batsmen had to first wipe off the 32 runs and then start scoring to have any chance of setting up a total. With India's second innings score at 85/4 at the time of this article being published, the chances of a New Zealand victory seems to be the most likely result of this match. Indian middle order and the two spinning all-rounders will have to bat for their lives to save this match for the team.