Former New Zealand all-rounder Craig McMillan feels India missed a trick by declaring late on Day 5 of the Kanpur Test and said that had they called off their second innings earlier, the home team could have gone 1-0 up. India declared their second innings on 234/7 setting New Zealand a target of 284 in a little more than 90 overs, but with light fading on all four days, McMillan reckons India should have judged the situation better.
“I have to disagree. And I guess whenever you’re left short of time for one wicket – New Zealand were still 120 runs behind the Indian total – that is a lot of time in the match. Let’s be honest, I think India could have perhaps declared 45 minutes earlier. And if New Zealand had been two or three down at stumps on Day 4, India could have gone on to win the Test match,” McMillan told Cricket.com.
Head coach Rahul Dravid, when asked about the timing of the declaration during the post-match presser, defended India saying it was spot on. India were in trouble in the second innings at five wickets down for some 60 odd runs before half-centuries from Shreyas Iyer and Wriddhiman Saha bailed them out of trouble.
“I don’t think so. That’s not my reading of the game. “Till half an hour before we declared, we were under pressure. All three results were possible, to be very honest with you,” Dravid had said, but McMillan weighed in, saying that the coach would obviously defend the call given he would have been part of that decision. The former New Zealand batting coach added that the India coach would have later realised his mistake given the dimming light at the Green Park stadium had been a factor through the first four days.
“Rahul Dravid would have been part of that decision-making process so of course he has to say that he got it right. But I think he’ll realise that teams had lost time because of bad light. So you had to keep that fact into the equation as well that you’re probably not going to get the full 90 overs in because of bad light,” said McMillan.
“That had been the case everyday. So, I think India missed a trick here and they should have set New Zealand 250-260 and that would have brought them another 10 overs and that could have been the difference. Had that been the case, India could have been 1-0 up in the series.”