New Delhi, Feb 6: Following India's impressive 106-run victory over England in the second Test in Visakhapatnam, former India cricketer Zaheer Khan has raised a pertinent point about the team's batting unit, despite the triumph.
While acknowledging the stellar performances by Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill, Zaheer Khan emphasised that there remains significant room for improvement within the batting lineup.
The Vizag Test witnessed standout performances from Jaiswal, who etched his name in the record books with a memorable 209 in the first innings, and Gill, who displayed resilience with a gritty knock of 104 in the second innings. These exceptional innings laid the foundation for India's commanding position in the match, setting up a daunting target of 399 runs for England to chase.
However, beyond the heroics of Jaiswal and Gill, Zaheer Khan expressed concern over the inconsistent performance of other batters. Despite promising starts, players like Shreyas Iyer and Rajat Patidar failed to capitalise on their opportunities, highlighting a glaring issue that needs to be addressed within the team.
"If you are one-down in the series, you need that aggression, fight and belief to make sure that it is 1-1 after the end of the game. And I think Rohit was able to bring out those individual performances from the players.
"There are a few concerns when you look at the team -- batting is something that they will be talking about because under these conditions, on this sort of a surface, we have seen India do better,” said Zaheer Khan to JioCinema.
Zaheer Khan also emphasised the importance of collective effort and reiterated the significance of consistent batting performances, particularly on favourable batting surfaces. He underscored the need for aggression, fight, and belief within the team, especially when trailing in a series.
"You look at England's second innings, there is only one half-century and they still managed to get close to 300. That is what collective effort can do. We have seen two brilliant innings - from Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill, but with the bat, there is a lot of work to be done," he added.
While praising Rohit Sharma's astute captaincy, Zaheer Khan highlighted the crucial role played by the skipper in managing the bowling unit, particularly during moments of pressure. Despite challenges faced by the spinners, Rohit Sharma's adept leadership ensured control over the proceedings, showcasing his tactical acumen and ability to navigate challenging situations effectively, said Zaheer.
"On the bowling front as well, you had the brilliance of Jasprit Bumrah. On this kind of surface, you feel that your spinners were at times under pressure, and because of that, they needed help from the batters. So, to control all these factors -- this is where the captain needs to come into play, and Rohit has been superb when it comes to all these factors and situations,” he concluded. (IANS)