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Paras Mhambrey surprised by Ranchi’s variable bounce
By SMCS - Feb 25, 2024 10:30 am
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Before the fourth Test, Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes opined on the look of the pitch to be used for the Ranchi Test match. However, there were enough cracks already, even before the game started as well. Meanwhile, bowling coach Paras Mhambrey also opened up on this.

Team India
Team India

“From the couple of games that previously we’ve seen out here, generally the nature of the wicket is, it gets lower and slower as the days progress,” said Paras Mhambrey. “In the past also, if you see a couple of games that [were] played, it has got slower, on the lower side as well. So we expected that, but to be honest we didn’t expect it to be playing that low on the second day itself. I think a couple of balls did keep low in the first innings as well, but that’s what we didn’t expect. We expected it to get slower as the days progress, but not the variable bounce that we’ve seen in the last couple of days. That’s something that we were not expecting.”

Having lost the toss, India’s bowlers in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah failed to do well as the visitors posted 112/5 in the first session of day one. Joe Root scored a century and England eventually ended with 353 as well.

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“I think they bowled well. Bashir did bowl well, kept a good line, kept it simple, line and length, and he really bowled well. At this level you expect the opponents to do that, and he’s done it. He’s just kept it simple, and has picked up wickets for that,” he again stated. “He [Bashir] stuck to his strengths. That’s his strength, he’s not a big spinner of the ball, he’s a tall guy, hits the length, keeps it very simple, and it’s the same for Hartley as well. Similar kind of left-arm spinner. That’s his strength, I think he stuck to his strength.”

“Ash, as you all know, is a different kind of bowler to Jaddu, so every individual will stick to his strengths. I don’t think we, from our perspective, are really looking at doing something that they’ve done. We need to stick with what works for us, our strengths, and just hopefully as the game progresses pick up wickets,” further added Mhambrey.

However, the initial Test matches in Vizag and Rajkot had much flatter surfaces where spin played it part in the latter days. With a 2-1 lead, Mhambrey insisted that they hadn’t made any such requests for the pitch.

Team India
Team India registered a win Vizag Test

“Firstly, venues are not something we can control. This was a venue allotted for the series as well. The way wicket plays out here has always been similar. It has always not been a rank turner. I wouldn’t call this a rank turner because there was variable bounce. I don’t think too many balls spun sharply from the wicket and there was variable bounce on the lower side. That made batting difficult. But that’s the nature of the soil and there was no specific instruction of a rank turner from our side.”

“It was a similar wicket to Saurashtra which turned a little bit. We expected it to be similar but the soil out here is different and you can’t gurantee the exact wicket you want. There, honestly, weren’t any instructions that we need a turner. I don’t think it is a turner as of now. It’s just the low bounce which is making batting a little difficult. I don’t think there has been any ball which has really spun to call it a turning wicket here.”

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Meanwhile, Paras Mhambrey didn’t open up and chose to look at the positive side of things. However, for England, a win is needed to keep the hope alive.

“It’s just far-fetched [looking too far ahead] right now. What’s important right now is, we have two set batsmen at the crease, we already have some 40-odd partnership going. I think they’ve really applied themselves, and the important bit is to get as close [as possible] to the target [England total]. That’s the first bit, and then we’ll see, maybe tomorrow, how far are we or how close are we to the target [England total], and then we’ll see. What we really need to look at is, we’re gonna chase, right? The target, the number, will differ, but mentally we need to chase. We need to bat well in the second innings, whatever the target is. Let’s keep it that simple. First is just the partnership, take it as close [as possible] to the target [England total], and we need to bat better,” he concluded.