Navi Mumbai: Wasim Jaffer, a domestic cricket giant, says unless the Indian batsmen build on their starts and put a big total on the board, bouncing back in the Test series against New Zealand will be extremely difficult.
India were humbled by 10 wickets by the hosts in the opening Test as the pace trio of Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson ran riot.
"Virat (Kohli) is going through a lean patch, so I am expecting him to come back stronger. Pujara needs some runs under his belt. Most importantly, they need to convert their starts into three figures, if that doesn't happen and if we don't put a score of 350-400 runs then it is difficult," Jaffer told PTI.
"In 200-250 (runs) you can't win a Test match unless there is much help from the pitch. When we bat first or bat second, we need to score 400-450 runs," the former India opener said.
The domestic stalwarts is coaching a side in the ongoing DY Patil T20 Cup in Mumbai.
Jaffer also felt that the team getting bundled out for less than 200 in the first Test was not befitting of its number one rank in the longest format of the game.
"They kept our run-rate in check and kept our batsmen under pressure for long periods. I felt that in the first innings, the conditions were favourable for bowlers, but they worked out a strategy of bouncers and we should have batted better in the second innings. To get out both times under 200 is unlike the number one Test team," he said.
Jaffer was confident that India would bounce back as they have done it in the past.
"There is no doubt that India will come back hard in the next Test (at Christchurch), which they should and they have always done that in the past. Whenever they have been put under pressure, they have bounced back very strongly. I'm expecting the same thing," he said.
Considering that India are not playing a Test for a long period after the second game in New Zealand, Jaffer feels it will be a crucial Test for Shubman Gill or Prithvi Shaw, as one of them will get a chance.
"Rohit (Sharma) is not there and he is a seasoned player and India actually missed him. Anybody who gets a chance, Shubman or Prithvi, it's a very crucial Test match for them," he opined.
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