2nd Test: Why Virat Kohli did not enforce follow-on on New Zealand?
- India scored 325 in the first innings
- New Zealand's Ajaz Patel became the 3rd bowler in Test history to take all 10 wickets in an innings
- New Zealand were bundled out for just 62, their lowest Test total against India
India bundled out New Zealand for a meager 62 after scoring 325 in the first innings to take a healthy 263-run lead on Day 2 of the ongoing second Test in Mumbai. Returning Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who has a history of not enforcing the follow-on, chose to bat again and effectively rule out New Zealand’s chances by adding another 200-odd runs to the lead.
However, the situation of the match presented the ideal opportunity to put the Kiwis to bat again and try wrapping up the match and the series with a few days to spare.
After the disastrous first innings, which saw the visitors record their lowest total in a Test match against India, the Kiwis would be unlikely to wipe out the lead and post anything close enough to challenge Kohli and his men.
Here’s why Kohli opted to not enforce the follow-on:
Break for the bowlers
Choosing to bat again allowed the Indian bowlers to get a much-needed breather after an intense day’s play. It also ensures the Kiwi bowlers will hardly get a break after having toiled for nearly four sessions so far in the match.
More runs will end Kiwi’s chances
Adding another 200 or so runs to the lead, which already stands at a mammoth 263, will effectively finish New Zealand’s chances of getting anything from the match and seal the match as well as the series for India.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who has been struggling with the bat lately, and Kohli, who was controversially adjudged LBW on a duck in the first innings, can look forward to boost morale with a few runs under their belt.
Fourth innings woes
India can strategically use the roller to further break up the pitch and make it harder for the Kiwi batsmen in the fourth innings. More wear and tear on the pitch can be exploited by the Indian spinners to make batting that much more difficult for the visitors.