Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal has opined that Team India’s fortunes on Day 5 in Nottingham will depend heavily on the partnership between Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara. Akmal pointed out that Team India’s captain and vice-captain, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, are not in form and hence the start for the visitors on Sunday would be crucial.
Team India will resume their innings at 52/1 with both Rohit and Pujara unbeaten on 12 each. They need 157 runs to win the first Test on Day 5 with nine wickets in hand.
Previewing Day 5 of the first Test between Team India and England, Akmal said on his YouTube channel:
“Team India have a good chance of chasing and winning the Test. A lot depends on Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara’s partnership. They need to bat for as long as possible. Rohit and Pujara and both currently batting on 12 each. This partnership is extremely crucial for Team India. Even if they add 40 or 50, it could be a match-winning partnership.”
“One must also remember that the batters to come are not in great form. Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have not got big runs of late. They are great players but as of now they are just not in rhythm. So I would reiterate that a lot would depend on how Rohit and Pujara start. Team India need a partnership from them,” he added.
Akmal added that opener KL Rahul, who scored 84 in the first innings, was looking dangerous on Saturday as well before he got a very good delivery from Stuart Broad. The Pakistan cricketer added:
“KL Rahul was looking confident again the way he played his shots. He had scored 84 runs in the first innings so that definitely made a difference. He was unlucky as he got a brilliant delivery to be dismissed.”
Every Team India batter needs to put a price on his wicket: Zaheer Khan
According to former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan, every Team India batter will need to put a price on his wicket and bat sensibly on the final day in Nottingham.
Speaking on Cricbuzz, Khan stated that it would be crucial for Team India to bat sensibly to chase down the target. He said:
“I still feel the target should have been 25 runs less than the eventual one (209). In this chase, partnerships are going to be very crucial. I feel India did get off to a good start. But on the last day, every batsman needs to put a price on his wicket and bat sensibly. If conditions are not overcast like it was during India’s first innings, then I think it would be a bit better scenario for Team India.”
On Day 4, England captain Joe Root scored a fine century as the hosts reached 303 and set Team India a target of 209.