Rajasthan v Rest of India, Irani Cup, Bangalore, 2nd day September 22, 2012

Rest of India batsmen batter Rajasthan


Rest of India 328 for 2 (Vijay 151*, Rahane 81, Pujara 78) lead Rajasthan 253 (Bist 117*, Umesh 5-55) by 75 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rest of India's batsmen picked off some of the easiest runs they would have scored to pummel Rajasthan on the second day of the Irani Cup, as the large gulf in quality between the two sides was exposed at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

M Vijay, India's preferred back-up opener little more than a year ago, began the season with the big runs he will need to consistently score to return to the thoughts of the national selectors. Ajinkya Rahane reached the milestone of 5000 first-class runs, but missed out on an on-the-platter century, and Cheteshwar Pujara feasted on some listless bowling.

Such was the dominance of Rest of India that in the two-and-a-half hour morning session, there were only three moments of minor discomfort for the opening batsmen: an edge in the early overs that bounced through to slip, an lbw appeal that was more out of formality than any real conviction, and an inside-edge that rolled towards mid-on. Otherwise, Vijay and Rahane middled virtually every ball they played before lunch to demoralise the Ranji champions. The highlight of the morning was the off-driving by both batsmen, who confidently played on-the-up and consistently dispatched the ball through covers.

Rajasthan, without their two most potent bowlers of the previous season, were toothless on a track that didn't encourage the bowlers too much. Their three quick bowlers all averaged around 115kph, and though Deepak Chahar got the ball to jag around a little, there was nothing for the batsmen to be alarmed about. The spinners too found little purchase; they dropped it too short too often and were easily dealt with. By the final session, both left-arm spinner Gajendra Singh and offspinner Madhur Khatri were bowling defensive lines on the pads, looking purely at containment. It didn't help that Chahar had to leave the field with a knee injury just before tea.

Rajasthan tried various strategies early on to ruffle the batsmen, putting eight men on the off side, and later putting square leg midway to the boundary and a deep backward square leg before trying to bounce the batsmen. Nothing worked.

The wicket, when it finally arrived midway through the day's play, was inevitably through a run-out, a fortuitous one at that. Rahane was serenely progressing towards his first first-class century since last year's Irani Cup when he firmly on-drove a delivery from Gajendra. He immediately set off for a single, but the ball struck Vijay's bat and knocked it out of the non-striker's hand. The slightly shaken Vijay signalled for Rahane to turn back, but it was too late as the ball had dribbled to the mid-on fielder, and Rahane didn't even try getting back.

Both Pujara and Vijay were also almost run-out - Pujara when Gajendra palmed a Vijay straight drive onto the stumps, and Vijay when he was sauntering a single to long-on not realising that the throw was coming towards his end.

Vijay grew more adventurous as the day progressed. While in the morning his scoring was mainly through along-the-ground drives and carves behind point, he started to step out and launch the spinners over their heads later in the day. He was almost entirely untroubled during his unbeaten 151, and a double-century is his for the taking on Sunday.

Pujara looked the most loose of the top three. As he and Vijay went about dismantling Rajasthan after tea, there was a troublesome phase when Pujara was nearly dismissed three times in close succession - first a catch turfed at second slip by Vineet Saxena, then a close lbw call followed by a loud caught-behind appeal. There was a missed stumping chance as well later on, when he was on 64. In between, he was ruthless against the generous dose of short balls, repeatedly carving the ball through cover or pulling to the square-leg boundary.

Rajasthan had something to cheer about late in the day, when left-arm quick Choudhary had Pujara nicking through to the keeper on the second delivery after the new ball was taken. That, though, did little to alter the balance of the game, which remains firmly in Rest of India's favour.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • amit on September 23, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    i think domestic cricket is just for fun !!!! BCCI choose players on domestic basis !!! but these players dont get change to play for India and when they play single match and dont perform they drop from Indian team !!!! We have seen manoj tiwari and ashok dinda cant make to playing 11 in current T20 even ashok dinda is far better than khan and Balaji !! same with Tiwari better than rohit sharma !!!

  • Dummy4 on September 23, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    And people will keep talking about how M Vijay needs to be given a chance. Can't you all see what bowling he's scoring his runs against? Anil Kumble bowled at 110kmph & now our"QUICKS" clock 115 !! What happened in the last 5 years.? Wasn't there a time when half a dozen bowlers in the domestic circuit bowled fast? Even today the likes of Nehra, Agarkar, Zaheer bowl mid 130s. What's the problem with theses young talented bowlers? Yadav is the only fast bowler in India & I'm sure they turn him into a trundler.

  • kopal on September 23, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    the time has come now to give robin bist a chance in the indian test team. i think he will be a better player than suresh raina at least. he has been scoring consistently & is in form at the moment.

  • Rakesh on September 23, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    it is looking like a club level match, Rajasthan's bowling was not more than any average club team.

  • yuvraj on September 23, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    I don't understand when people say this match batting shouldn't be considered or normalise it to consider. Because all the test spot contenders (Rahane, Vijay, Pujara, Badrinath) except and Mukund and Bist are playing for Rest of India, and All of them face the same bowling, and one tend to captalize his innings where others failed to do so. Am not saying, Vijay is better then Rahane or Pujara, but this innings gotta count as he batted very well. this guy took 50 balls to score 50 runs from 150 to 200. He can score faster too. Hope these players replace the current Test team batsmen who are clueless what test cricket is.

  • TR on September 22, 2012, 23:47 GMT

    I wish there is some stats stored by statisticians regarding how chancy the score was made, what kind of surface etc. It would help evaluate the net performance of the top scoring batsmen at the end of the season (for selection to India team) instead of mere batting average.

  • Rajesh on September 22, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    Considering Gauti & Viru's form, M.Vijay, with his clean hitting potential, can surely be given another opportunity for India in ODI's & T20's atleast provided he scores consistently during this years domestic season..

  • yuvraj on September 22, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    Come on M Vijay! You have to similar batting in three four innings to make the selectors turn towards you. Man, you are such a pleasure to watch when you get going. Hope you get a comeback. All the best Monk!

  • roshan on September 22, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    rest of inda team bowling was dismal. we should have added bowlers like jalaj s saxena,bhuvanesh kumar, rituraj singh, deepak chahar, shami ahmed, varun aron,surya kumar yadav, pankaj singh, sudeep tyagi or t p sudindra. we have plenty of fast bowlers. why we need zaheer, irfan. why cant we give these players some experience. one player india looks for are players like ishant jaggi, mayank tehlan, pradeep sangwan, manish pandey,mayank agarwal for batting. gurkeerat singh, nikhil paradkar, harshad khadiwale, a fine opener, chirag gulshan khurana, ankit bawne,sunny so, hal, rahul dewan, shivkant shukla, amitoze singh, ravi inder singh, shrikant wagh, saurabh tiwari. why we worry we have great talents, yogesh nagar is a great alrounder. madhur katri, sumit mathur are the great spin bowlers. australia, west indies, england team may be clueless of their spin bowling.india has great future. bcci may be lookin for some entertaining home 20-20 match

  • biju on September 22, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    What benefit will get from these type matches. Rajastan bowlers are very weak and also opposite side are strong at least in India. Against weak bowlers flat pitches Rest Of Indian players scoring centuries, fifties, selectors are happy, these players can score at least one fifty in West Indies, Australia, England or New Zealand. We saw already these players performance in foreign countries. Select good opposition and make good bouncy life pitches; other wise Indian performance big zero in foreign countries.

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