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Sanjay Bangar all praise for Mitchell Starc’s resilient innings against India

The last pair of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood added unbeaten 51 in 12.1 overs, taking the Aussies to 256/9 at the end of Day 1 in the opening Test match between Australia and India.

cricket Updated: Feb 23, 2017 23:31 IST
Mitchell Starc,Sanjay Bangar,India vs Australia
Pune: Australian batsman Mitchell Starc plays a shot during the first day of first test match against India, in Pune on Thursday. PTI Photo by Shashank Parade (PTI2_23_2017_000161B)(PTI)

After India had dished out true surfaces during the Tests against England and Bangladesh, Australia’s struggle on Day One of the Pune Test brought the focus back on turning tracks. (Day 1 Highlights)

The Aussies were reeling at 205/9 but Mitchell Starc’s rearguard action took them past 250 and into the second day. (SCORECARD)

The last pair of Starc and Hazlewood added unbeaten 51 in 12.1 overs, taking the Aussies to 256/9. The partnership left India’s batting coach, Sanjay Bangar, disappointed.

“Obviously we would have been very happy had we batted in the evening. But we have seen in the past when our lower order has contributed a lot,” he said. “So, all credit to Starc because he came out and backed himself to play those shots. Because of that partnership they were able to end the day in a good position. I think we were expecting them to be bowled out for around 230 or less. But they applied themselves.”

Bangar brushed aside the criticism of the pitch.

“The batsmen who applied themselves have shown that runs can be scored on this track. It’s not that there was variable bounce. As Team India we never complain of any pitch when you go abroad, and it’s just a Day 1 of a Test match,” Bangar added, referring to knocks by Mitchell Starc and Matt Renshaw — the only batsmen to score half-centuries and consolidate after getting starts.

It was an exceptional knock from the southpaw Starc who upped the ante on his own in a desperate situation. Initially, it seemed as if the message from the Australian think-tank was to score as many runs as possible. But as they approached the close of play; well aware of the fact that they can extend their innings to the next day, Starc toned down and saw off the day with Hazlewood. By then, however, Starc had struck five boundaries and three sixes.

“When you go to England, you have to negotiate seaming ball, in Australia you negotiate the bouncing ball and when you come to India you negotiate the turning ball. If you see, at the end of the day the score is still 256/9 and that’s a lot of runs to score,” Bangar said.

First Published: Feb 23, 2017 22:58 IST