Australian left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc feels that they bowled well the first four hours of the opening day of the Adelaide Test against India. He also credited the Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara whose brilliant desperate effort helped India to score 250/9 at the end of the day.
After deciding to bat first, the visitors India faced a huge batting collapse as they went down to 41/4. Pujara’s classic 123 off 246 balls and some crucial middle & lower-order knocks rescued the visiting team as they finished the opening day of the four-match Test series on 250/9.
Among the Australian bowlers, Mitchell Starc (2/63), Josh Hazlewood (2/52), Pat Cummins (2/49) and Nathan Lyon (2/83) all have picked up two wickets each on the opening day.
After the end of the day, Starc told reporters, “I thought we bowled really well for four hours, probably pretty well for another hour and probably got it a bit wrong at the end there.
“Cheteshwar Pujara batted a lot of time. He’s someone who likes to absorb pressure and bat a long time, and credit to him he scored a fantastic hundred today. I think if you asked us at the start of the day if we’d take losing the toss and India being 9 for 250 at stumps I think we’d bite your arm off.”
Talking about the pitch, Starc feels that it still can’t be judged at present until their batsmen face it.
The 28-year-old left-arm Aussie pacer said, “You can’t judge a wicket until both teams have had a crack. One good day isn’t going to win a series. It’s going to go a long way to helping win a Test but it’s nothing to win a series.”
To achieve the good amount of success on the opening day against the no.1 ranked Test team, Starc credited their planning and preparation for it.
He added, “I think we’ve planned and prepared really well for this week and had a lot of vision to look at, and how India have played in the past. They did go quite hard (at the ball) but we bowled exceptionally well for the first four hours, especially when the ball got soft and stopped moving around, the scoreboard never got away from us.”
On the other hand, Pujara played a heroic knock of 123 off 246 balls and became a saviour for his team on the day. At the very last moment of the day, Pujara lost his wicket through a run-out that was a brilliant direct hit by Pat Cummins.
Speaking on that run-out, Pujara said, “It was a special moment for him, especially after a long day in the field. It was a good little effort from him.”
Starc is also excited on Usman Khawaja’s brilliant catching effort to dismiss the no.1 ranked Test batsman Virat Kohli (3) at the very early stage.
The pacer said, “Usman Khawaja 3.0 isn’t it? He’s on fire. He’s made a huge effort over the last nine months I guess and it’s showing in his batting and now it’s showing in his fielding. A great catch and probably one he’ll keep bringing up now as well, so a great effort from him. It was a great catch and hopefully he’s going to have a great couple of days with the bat as well.”
The Aussie pacer also spoke about his bowling action change that generates a good swing with the Kookaburra ball, which has already troubled the Indian top-order batting line-up.
Starc said on his new bowling action, “I’ve been sort of tweaking a few things and trying a few different things with David Saker, looking at perhaps how I bowled in 2015 throughout that World Cup and trying to perhaps get over my front leg a bit more.
“Little things have worked and hopefully the swing that I’ve got the last couple of weeks hangs around for the summer. Just little changes and little cues I used to have that I probably went away from or unknowingly went away from. But it’s nice to see the ball moving around and I think we’ve all been preparing brilliantly for this Test series with a little period off after the Shield game.
“Between the batters and bowlers our preparation’s been fantastic, so it’s one good day out of a long series. So hopefully, personally I can keep swinging the ball around and being that bit more consistent than I have been in the past.”