Learnings from India vs Leicestershire Day 2

Image: Leicestershire Cricket

India faced Leicestershire as part of their preparations for the final Test match against England that starts on July 1.

We have seen 2 days of long format cricket by the Indians so far.

The performances from the Indians have been a mixed bag so far.

What’s happened so far

Four Indian players are representing Leicestershire – Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna.

This was the only way the Indian squad could get some match practice as there is only one match scheduled before the Test.

On Day 1, the Indian batting crumbled as they lost 5 wickets for just 81 runs.

A steady half-century from KS Bharat (70 not out) took India to 246/8 at stumps on Day 1.

Bharat found support from Umesh Yadav (23) and Mohammed Shami (18 not out) in stands of 66 and 32.

Roman Walker, the 21-year-old right-arm seam bowler who moved from Glamorgan to Leicestershire last year bagged 5 wickets for 24.

His scalps included star batters Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

Eventually, rain forced an early end to Day 1.

Leicestershire responded with 244 thanks to a blistering 76 off 87 balls by Rishabh Pant.

Pant took on the seamers, scoring 26 off 30 balls from Shami, 20 off 23 against Siraj and 13 off 12 when facing Umesh.

It was vintage Pant with classy extra-cover drives, paddle sweeps off the quicks and improvised short-arm jabs

Shami and Jadeja grabbed 3 wickets each.
One of Shami’s victims was Pujara who got out for a duck.
India replied with 80 for 1 with KS Bharat unbeaten on 31.

Worrying signs for India

While the bowlers have looked impressive, the batters are still looking rusty.
Worryingly, there is no other practice game scheduled and they have very little time to get ready. Rohit began the day watchfully but one again got out caught at mid-wicket, trying to hook a short ball.
Rohit had managed to eliminate these lapses in concentration on the last England tour but looks like the bad habit has returned. Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer edged the ball while playing away from their bodies, a technical flaw which Anderson and co. will make a note of.
Iyer lasted just 11 balls before falling for a duck, playing a loose drive well away from the body against Prasidh.

Though Kohli made 33, it looked like he didn’t know where his off stump was and looked like edging the ball many times.

Hanuma Vihari lacked scoring intent and took 22 balls to score 3 runs.

This ultra defensive mindset might work on Indian pitches but in seaming conditions, only increases the pressure on the batters.

Jadeja was caught LBW on the crease to an inswinger, trapped right in front.
Even in the second innings, Shubman Gill fell victim to a loose shot, playing away from the body, thanks to the extra bounce generated by Navdeep Saini.
Apart from the solid batting displays of the wicket keepers, KS Bharat and Rishabh Pant, the rest of the line up needs to buck up very fast.
Squads India vs Leicestershire CCC

India: Rohit Sharma (Capt), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav.

Leicestershire CCC: Sam Evans (Capt), Rehan Ahmed, Sam Bates (wk), Nat Bowley, Will Davis, Joey Evison, Louis Kimber, Abi Sakande, Roman Walker, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna.

Indians 246 for 8 dec (Bharat 70, Walker 5-24) and 80 for 1 (Gill 38, Bharat 31*) lead Leicestershire 244 (Pant 76, Jadeja 3-28, Shami 3-42) by 82 runs


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