Despite having four quick bowlers in the side, the skies being gloomy and favourable to swing bowling, and the floodlights for night cricket being switched on, Indian captain Virat Kohli was forced to introduce left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja into the attack on the second day of the second Test against England here on Friday.
The reason for that was India’s slow over-rate in the first Test, because of which they were deducted two of the four points otherwise awarded to them for a draw.
Now that every Test match is being played as a component of the ICC World Test Championship, every point may matter in the event of a tight finish at the top of the table at the conclusion of the two-year cycle.
A slow bowler was not suited to the conditions, especially where there were still strips of grass on the pitch and little sign of wear and tear. In other words, a pace at both ends was demanded. But the decision was taken out of Kohli’s hands by the ICC’s new, no tolerance approach on over rates.
Jadeja was introduced from the Nursery End, so as to turn the ball down slope at Lord’s historical side-ways ridge. Interestingly, no sooner he completed his four-over spell, and Mohammed Shami replaced him, Roy Burns was trapped leg before wicket by the latter.
(Senior cricket writer Ashis Ray is a broadcaster and author of the book ‘Cricket World Cup: The Indian Challenge’)