As much as stroke-making, the hallmark of a quality batsman lies in the manner in which he leaves the ball outside off-stump. On Thursday, the Mumbai batsmen were found wanting as their technique was exposed by the Karnataka pacers, led by seasoned R. Vinay Kumar, on the first day of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal .
The Jamtha pitch was nowhere close to being a green top. Yet, Vinay extracted a slight movement, which was enough for Mumbai batsmen to enter into a race of nicking quicker and returning to the change room. Barring Akhil Herwadkar - who became the latest occupant at the No. 3 position - and Dhawal Kulkarni, none of the Mumbai batsmen put a price tag on their wickets.
“Anywhere you go, if the game starts at 9 am, there is obviously something for the bowlers for the first hour. Whatever happened should not have happened,” said Kulkarni, who top-scored with 75 in a total of 173. “The wicket was doing a bit. Batsmen should have used a bit of common sense and just negotiated that hour. There was nothing after that in the wicket.”
The inexperience of aggressive openers Prithvi Shaw and Jay Bista was exposed as Vinay coerced them into nicks to the first slip in no time. “Young stage in their career. Hopefully they will learn from this and will not repeat the mistakes again,” Kulkarni said.
Vinay also stated that the openers should have left the balls that resulted in their dismissals. “They played a little uppish shots; they could have left those balls, openers should play a little closer to their body. We saw the videos and they were going for those shots. And the way I am bowling, we thought there was a chance of me getting their wickets,” Vinay said.
With the bizarre batting display, perhaps the Mumbai batsmen will have to wait for the next season to rectify their mistakes.
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