Indian batting heavily under-performed on the first day of the Australia Test series at Adelaide. Cheteshwar Pujara’s run out marked the end of the first day as India finished with 250 runs on the board.
India’s number 11 Jasprit Bumrah is set to join Mohammed Shami on the crease when the play starts on the second day. One understands that at this stage, every single run is precious. But instead of trying to scrap out any more runs with the help its numbers 10 and 11, it may make more sense to declare overnight. Here is why this may not be such a bad idea.
Firstly, neither Bumrah nor Shami are accomplished batsmen. In fact, Bumrah is almost a walking wicket. In the eleven Test innings he has played so far, he has scored a paltry 10 runs! Though Shami has a test fifty to his credit, he does not have a half decent defensive technique and is likely to perish while attempting to play expansive shots.
Bumrah and Shami also happen to be India's two best strike bowlers right now. With India going into the match with just four bowlers, it is on them to shoulder most of the responsibility of prizing out Australian wickets.
In the quest for a few extra runs, India might risk injury to its two best bowlers. Shami has already been hit by a bouncer today which hit him flush on the right shoulder. The Australians are expected to bombard him and Bumrah with bouncers first thing in the morning.
If Shami gets hit again on his bowling arm shoulder, or either of them incur injury facing the pace of Australian bowlers, they may not be hundred percent fit to bowl with the kind of effectiveness as they are expected to.
If one weighs the pros and cons, there is enough merit in the decision to declare overnight. That way, the two bowlers will get to properly prepare, without worrying about their batting. And if Kohli wants to keep the Australians guessing, he could declare after the last ball of the ongoing 88th over is bowled, which Shami is scheduled to face from Hazlewood. Shami can have a swing at the ball and then Kohli can declare so that Bumrah is saved from facing a single delivery.