Mohali :India might have wasted the advantage of winning the toss after being bundled out for a paltry 201 against South Africa today but batting coach Sanjay Bangar feels the hosts’ first innings total is “much bigger” than it looks on a slow and low pitch.
Bangar insisted that the first Test match is very much in the balance after the home spinners sent two visiting team batsmen back in the pavillion at close of opening day’s play with South Africa scorecard reading 28 for two.
Asked about India letting go of the advantage, Bangar said: “To an extent yes, but we have got their two wickets already, so after 20 overs if they are 28 for 2, it just proves the point that the worth of 201 on the board is far more that what it looks.
“It is a very challenging wicket. I am not saying it is a good wicket or a bad wicket, but it is a very challenging wicket, wherein run-making is not easy.
“Competitive cricket is where a batsman and a bowler have equal opportunities. I think bowlers have to got a chance. Bowlers do have an upper hand on this track, and batsmen have to cope with that,” he said at the end of the first day’s play here.
Murali Vijay top-scored with a valiant 75, while useful contributions came from Ravindra Jadeja (38), Cheteshwar Pujara (31) and Ravichandran Ashwin (20 not out), and Bangar said application was key on this track.
“I think runs can be made on this wicket as Vijay showed. When Pujara and Vijay were batting, or even Ajinkya (Rahane) and Vijay, it looked quite easy. A batsman’s patience will be tested to the core, and even the bowlers will have to work hard on this wicket. It is slightly slow after pitching. It doesn’t come on to the bat. It is going to be a test of the patience both for batsmen and the bowlers,” he said.
“When an Indian team goes overseas, you cannot say that the extent of seam movement, or the extent of movement in the air, there should be a fixed criteria. Okay if it swings this much or if it seams this much then only they are the ideal conditions.
“The extent of spin, seam or swing is something which cannot be fixed or measured. It is a challenge for all the batsmen. Equally taking wickets or scoring runs on such tracks is an art. Players will have to apply all their skills,” Bangar explained.