While the present Australian batting side is struggling due to the lack of experience, the Australian pacer Pat Cummins claimed that their batsmen need to bat with the same temperament of the Indian batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and the skipper Virat Kohli.
In the reply of India’s first innings total of 443/7 decl, Australia started the day on their overnight score 8/0 but they were bundled out for just 151 runs. None of the Australian batsmen reached the 30-run mark in that innings. Only four Australian batsmen reached the 20-run mark and those were the opener Marcus Harris (22), the no.3 batsman Usman Khawaja (21), the no.5 batsman Travis Head (20) and the skipper Tim Paine (22).
Talking about their batting, Cummins said after the day’s play, “It was obviously not ideal. We turned up thinking of a good first innings score and be right in the game. We wanted to take this result away from them. This is a young batting group and they are working hard. They are trying their best, but it is just one of those things. Today it didn’t come off.
“What we saw from India’s first innings, we saw temperament of Pujara and Virat and how they pace their innings. They absorb pressure because on this kind of wicket, it is hard to score runs.
“You have to face a lot of balls to get big scores and it is probably one of those wickets where you do the hard work early. Keep absorbing pressure and score later, but evidently it did not work for us today.”
Since Australia’s two dependable top-order batsmen David Warner and Steven Smith have been suspended by Cricket Australia (CA) due to the involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in last March, the Australian team has struggled in the international cricket for their inexperienced batting.
Talking about on this matter, Cummins added, “It’s always going to be hard missing two of your best players. We’ve known for nine months (that Steve Smith and David Warner won’t be available). Others have to stand up. It probably highlights the class they’ve had in previous years, but we’ve got find to find a way.
“Everyone here is good enough. They’ve done it at the level below, all of them are the best (Sheffield) Shield players and most of them have done it for Australia before. Wicket feels pretty good still, so everyone feels like in the second innings they can face more balls and get going.”
Getting behind 292 runs from India’s first innings total, Australia was in huge under pressure when India started their second innings, instead of forcing the hosts for follow-on. The hosts came right back on track at the end of the day three where India was struggling 54/5 with the lead of 346 runs. Cummins wrapped up the Indian top-order as he finished the day with the bowling figure of 6-2-10-4.
While Cummins hopes to not bowl for a long time on day four, he still feels that it is a long way left in the game.
Cummins said, “I am pretty tired, exhausted but the good thing is that coming into this series I felt really fresh. Hopefully, there won’t be too many overs tomorrow and we won’t have to bowl last in this game. So hopefully there will be a 4-5 day break before Sydney.
“If we knock them over in the morning, you just never know. We tried to make it very hard for every run. The wicket is still pretty good, tough to score runs. But we saw last year we batted really well on day four and five (at the MCG), you dare to dream.
“But it’s still a long way left in the game. For India to move the game forward will be hard tomorrow. They will have to bat long and we will just take it as deep as possible.”