Cheteshwar Pujara-Ajinkya Rahane parntership hurt us, says Steve Smith
Ravichandran Ashwin’s 25th five-wicket haul and a cracked and uneven pitch propelled Virat Kohli-led India cricket team to a series-leveling, 75-run win on Tuesday, when the Aussie batting lineup capitulated chasing a victory target of 188 in the second test. (SCORECARD)
“This afternoon didn’t go to plan,” said Steve Smith during the post-match media interaction. “Ashwin did what he has done so well. He’s over here for a very long time. He hit good areas and challenged our batters… We weren’t up for it today.”
Earlier, during the Indian second innings, Ajinkya Rahane (52) and Cheteshwar Pujara (92) shared a century stand to help the hosts post a formidable total (considering the pitch conditions).
“I think the partnership between Rahane and Pujara really hurt us,” said Smith about the duo who took the match away from the Aussies. “They played particularly well.”
The M Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch, which was turning and uneven from Day 1 of the match, posed a lot of problems for batsmen from both sides. It was a gruelling Test of skill and patience and Smith admitted that.
“It was quite difficult to play with a bit up and down and cracks throughout the whole match,” said Smith. “There was an amount of rough from the start. It was quite difficult, but then Test match cricket isn’t supposed to be easy so...”
Smith also justified the couple of poor DRS calls his team made during the second innings.
“The umpires have to go make a lot of calls,” said Smith. “They’re there to do a job as well as they can and everyone makes mistakes. “It’s a difficult pitch to umpire on and you’ve got to be smart with your referrals.”
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- There has been a clamour to remove Virat Kohli as the captain of the Indian cricket team. Even though he is the most successful captain in India’s Test cricket history, some fans have sought to change his leadership role.
- Sridhar said the Indian team management was informed about their family members not being allowed to travel to Australia with them 48 hours before their journey from Dubai.
- Four bowlers made debuts against a line-up that boasted the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne. That the visitors still emerged as the better side is the strongest possible proof that India’s bowling reserve is exceptionally talented and deep.
- The India fielding coach said Kohli had messaged him around 12:30 at night after India suffered a humiliating loss in Adelaide to discuss the plans for the next Test in Melbourne.
- Jadeja, who did not feature in the first Test against Australia because of an injury, came back into the side for the second Test in Melbourne and immediately left his mark in all three departments of the game.