India vs Australia: ‘There is a lot to like about him,’ Australia’s assistant coach impressed with India bowler
- Sundar, Natarajan and Thakur bowled with a lot of heart, given the big names they were replacing in the team, but one of them in particular has caught the attention of Andrew McDonald, Australia’s assistant coach.
India’s bowling attack entered the Brisbane Test with a combined experience of three Tests behind it. Mohammed Siraj played the Melbourne and Sydney Tests, while Navdeep Saini had made his debut at the SCG. Fast bowler T Natarajan and bowling all-rounder Washington Sundar made their debuts and given that Shardul Thakur had bowled just 1.4 overs before getting injured in his debut Test in 2018, effectively this was his first Test as well.
Also Read | Ind vs Aus, 4th Test, Day 2 Highlights
Keeping that in mind, that India bowled Australia out for 369 in their first innings is a bloody impressive effort. Resuming Day 2 on 274/5, Australia lost their last five wickets for 95 runs with Sundar, Natarajan and Thakur picking up three wickets each. All three bowlers bowled with a lot of heart, given the big names they were replacing in the Test, but one of them in particular has caught the attention of Andrew McDonald, Australia’s assistant coach.
"For me I suppose, he is a bowler who controlled well the tempo of the game and I think it stood out for me," McDonald said of Natarajan. "Natarajan shaped the ball early, there is lot (to like) about him, left-arm swing bowler, no doubt he is inexperienced but has enough played first-class games to be play his first Test on this tour, (that) is a great achievement, so I think they held their own."
Natarajan became the first Indian player to make his debut in all three formats on the same tour. After bowling a brilliant first spell of 6-1-8-0, Natarajan removed Matthew Wade for his maiden Test wicket, before claiming the big wicket of centurion Marnus Labuschagne in the next over. On the second day, the left-arm quick returned to dismiss No. 11 batsman Hazlewood to finish with 3/78 on Test debut.
McDonald was equally pleased with the effort of Sundar, who replaced the experienced R Ashwin in the XI. He returned figures of 3/89 including the wickets of the dangerous Steve Smith and that of Cameron Green and Nathan Lyon, whom he bowled.
"I thought they (the Indian bowlers) were very consistent. I thought Washington Sundar in particular was disciplined and fill that role of Ravi Ashwin quite well and kept it tight and was able to take some key wickets on the way,” McDonald said.
"They (Indian bowlers) applied pressure throughout the innings and they made (it) difficult for ourselves. Times when we felt we would get on the top, they were able to bounce back and get key wickets at crucial times. It was great arm-wrestle, so full credit to their attack."
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