The Indian batting lineup was under the scanner as Australia pulled off a nine wicket win in Indore Test, making the series 2-1 with all to play for in Ahmedabad.
Winning the toss and opting to bat first, India got bundled out twice inside two days, scoring 107 and 163 across the two innings, putting up only 76 runs for the visitors to chase. With the home batters’ inability to tackle spin coming into question, skipper Rohit Sharma has said they need to not looking further than two of their own teammates. Shreyas Iyer and Cheteshwar Pujara.
“When you are playing on pitches like these you have to play the innings that Iyer played. Someone has to step out, someone has to take on the bowlers. It can’t be always that batters will get a big knock… you have to play cameos like that,” Rohit said in post-match press conference.
Australia win the Third Test by 9 wickets. #TeamIndia 🇮🇳 will aim to bounce back in the fourth and final #INDvAUS Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad 👍🏻👍🏻
Scorecard ▶️ https://t.co/t0IGbs2qyj @mastercardindia pic.twitter.com/M7acVTo7ch
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 3, 2023
He further added, “On the other hand, you have a Pujara. Pujara being Pujara. He likes to spend time in the middle, he wants to grind it out. That his way of doing it. It doesn’t have to be the same way for everyone that is what we have spoken about. Find your own methods (to score). Whether it it number 11 or number 1. As long as the job gets done we are happy as a unit. The runs will not come from everyone.”
Pujara was India’s top run scorer on day two, accumulating a gritty 59 off 142 deliveries in the second innings. However, even the determined number three was unable to avoid a collapse as Nathan Lyon bagged an 8-fer on Thursday.
“Lyon should be at the top in my opinion. I have not played guys like Murali and Warner. Among the current crop he would be my number one overseas bowler to come and play here in India,” the Indian captain said on the player of the match.
“He has got so much consistency in his line and length. When someone is bowling with that accuracy you have to try and and do something different to score runs.”
Matches lasting less than five days outside India as well
With the wicket in Indore being another one in the ongoing 2023 Border Gavaskar Trophy to have induced a finish in less than three days, the Indian captain seemed furious with the talk around the same and suggested that it wasn’t just India where Tests were ending in less than five days.
“What can I say about that, people have to play well for the game to last five days,” he said when asked about games finishing early. “Games are not lasting for five days outside India as well. Yesterday the game got over in three days in South Africa. It is about skills. People have to adapt to skills. If pitches are helping the bowlers, the batters need to try and test their skills.”
“It is not always about making sure we are playing on flat pitches and results don’t come your way. Pakistan, there were Test matches there and people said it was boring, We are making it interesting for you guys,” Rohit added.
The India skipper had hinted that come the Ahmedabad Test, India might simulate conditions keeping in the mind the WTC final but the loss is likely to change their plans, with the series there for the taking.
“Honestly, both the innings did not go the way we would have liked to. Even in the first innings, I don’t think there was a lot happening. If you look at the dismissals we played poorly. Out of the 10 wickets may one or two where the pitch did help the bowler,” the 35-year old said.
“Other than than it was the skill of the bowlers who outfoxed the batsman. We played poor shots as well. The way Australia played, they got out for 197. Had they not collapsed they could have gotten to 250-75 as well which would have been a damn good score on a pitch like that. Lack of concentration is what I would put it to. Apply yourself and bat for as long as possible and take odd chances in the middle. Do not let bowler bowl six balls in the same spot and try and to do something different, that is something we did not do in both the innings.”