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I agree with Kumble that strike-rates are only for bowlers and not for batsmen: Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly
Ex-Indian captain and CAB President Sourav Ganguly. (Photo by Saikat Paul/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Beware if you are an England batsman! Sourav Ganguly has issued a warning to the English batsmen as he has come out and said that he expected the pitch to start crumbling before the end of Day 2.

Ganguly spoke recently to India Today on various topics related to the ongoing Test between India and England at Vizag. During the first day, few balls misbehaved which might have prompted Dada to say that the pitch will start deteriorating quite soon.

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Today, India managed to get to 455 in their first innings but there were signs of encouragement for spinners with MoeenAli and Rashid get amongst the wickets.

Earlier on the first day, Kohli and Pujara didn’t let the England bowlers to settle down and were especially severe on Ansari and Moeen dispatching the bad balls to the boundary at almost every given opportunity.

Pujara’s innings break down read like this – 40 off 100 balls (S/R 40) Next 79 off 104 balls (S/R 75.96). Ganguly came down quite strongly on the criticism over Pujara’s strike rate and put his weight firmly behind Pujara stating his strike rate is better than everyone else in the team.

Ganguly said this about Pujara, “All this talk about Pujara’s strike-rate is rubbish and I agree with Anil (Kumble) that strike-rates are only for bowlers and not for batsmen. His strike-rate is better than anybody else in the team. You need someone at No. 3 who can change his game according to conditions and Pujara is that batsman. I again repeat he is a must at No. 3 for India and you have to show faith in him.”

Ganguly clearly has a point given that Pujara’s strike rate in Tests is better than the other leading Test players in the team like Kohli, Rahane and Vijay. Pujara’s strike has been a hot subject ever since Pujara was dropped for the Third Test in West Indies. Scoring rate was cited as the reason for Pujara’s axe. After making a comeback, there has been an earnest effort on the part of Pujara to maintain a healthy rate. Pujara is currently enjoying a rich vein of form. He has scored three centuries in his last 4 innings.

Dada also had some words of comfort for Amit Mishra, who was dropped in favour of Jayant Yadav. Yadav who earlier made his ODI debut against New Zealand is making his test debut in this test. Ganguly termed that the call to drop Mishra was bit harsh.

Also read – Faf du Plessis charged with ball tampering by ICC

“A bit harsh on Mishra to get dropped and I feel he bowled well in the second innings of (1st) Rajkot Test. I can understand from where the team management is coming with England having five left-handers. At times you pick horses for courses but the message has to be clear to Mishra that he was not dropped for poor form.”

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