WTC final: VVS Laxman dissects Ajinkya Rahane’s technique after he falls to a bouncer
Yet again, it was Neil Wagner who got rid of the Indian vice-captain for 49 with a short-pitch delivery and a well-laid plan.
Updated - Jun 21, 2021 1:05 pm
Day three of the ICC World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand saw one of the most riveting passages of play. At 182 for 5, with Ravindra Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane at the crease, India was looking in for a move on after losing Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant in the first hour of the day.
Rahane was looking quite comfortable on the crease and more in control of his batting than he was on day two. However, the clever tactics of Neil Wagner and Kane Williamson helped the Blackcaps get back into the match. Rahane was found out at the crease, pulling straight to the square leg fielder, Tom Latham. VVS Laxman opened up on the incident and that the Indian vice-captain has to learn a few tricks.
“This is something that has become a pattern with Ajinkya Rahane‘s batting. It was the same game plan that New Zealand used against him in Christchurch. This is something he requires to understand,” Laxman said on the Star Sports show at lunch on day three. There wasn’t a fielder at the position for the ball before that.
This would be something Ajinkya Rahane will be disappointed with: VVS Laxman
But, Williamson kept the square left fielder while Wagner teased Rahane with a short delivery which could be only hooked or pulled. Sadly, the batsman failed to keep the ball down. “There was no fielder there on the fifth delivery, the one before he got out. And then a fielder was placed there and also near the backward short-leg. It forced Ajinkya Rahane to play a half-hearted pull shot. There was no conviction in that pull shot and this would be something Ajinkya Rahane will be disappointed with,” Laxman added.
He further went on to narrate a story about his younger days when he had just started playing international cricket. He revealed that Sachin Tendulkar advised him to work on facing the challenge of bowlers bowling on the off-stump line and playing the short-pitch ball. Laxman noted that it is important for a batsman to learn how to leave or defend bouncers.
Laxman explained why the inability to play bouncers can become a bad thing for a batsman. “Because if the opposition comes to know that you are a compulsive pull shot or hook shot player, they will bowl a barrage of bouncers at you and have the field set to make you play that shot. And it is always going to be a low percentage shot,” he concluded.