Rediff.com  » Cricket » 'It was a great arm-wrestle, so full credit to their attack'

'It was a great arm-wrestle, so full credit to their attack'

January 16, 2021 16:25 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

They were consistent and despite the inexperience, held their own, feels Australia's assistant coach Andrew McDonald.

India's Thangarasu Natarajan bowls finished with figures of 3 for 78 in 24.2 overs

IMAGE: India's Thangarasu Natarajan bowls finished with figures of 3 for 78 in 24.2 overs. Photograph: Jono Searle/Getty Images

Australia's assistant coach Andrew McDonald on Saturday praised the highly inexperienced Indian bowling attack for the final Test and singled out Washington Sundar, saying the young off-spinner filled the shoes of Ravichandran Ashwin "quite well". 

Hit by a barrage of injuries through the series, India picked debutants Washington (3/89) and medium pacer T Natarajan (3/78) in the playing eleven on Friday.

The duo was travelling with the squad as net bowlers. 

"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 at the virtual post-day press conference after day two.

 

"So, 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, who coaches Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, was also impressed by 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” the 39-year-old said.

The left-arm pacer had impressed in the limited overs leg of the tour after making the Indian team at the back of a stellar IPL. 

Australia were bowled out for 369 in the first session of the rain-curtailed second day. Like Washington and Natarajan, Shardul Thakur also took three wickets.

"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 a great arm-wrestle, so full credit to their attack," the Australian assistant coach said.

Australia captain Tim Paine speaks to the umpires during the rain delay on Day 2 of the 4th Test at The Gabba on Saturday

IMAGE: Australia captain Tim Paine speaks to the umpires during the rain delay on Day 2 of the 4th Test at The Gabba on Saturday. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

He also said that Indian bowlers and his batting group “have a big job” ahead of them in the second innings.

India in reply were poised at 62/2 in the first innings with Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara remaining unbeaten on 2 and 8 respectively, at the end of the day's play with the visitors still trailing by 307 runs.

McDonald said the dismissal of Rohit Sharma was quite handy even as he termed the proceedings so far as "even".

"India 2/60, to get (Rohit) Sharma just before the or what was to be the end of the play was very handy. But we had 100 runs today, could that have been more possibly, but in saying that 350 plus at the first innings at the GABBA is not a bad score."

Australia have not lost a Test at the Gabba since 1988.

The assistant coach said that his team was always looking to put up a total beyond 350 in the first essay.

"...but there is lot of cricket to be played in this and will define the pretty much the series, one all coming in and all on the line. The overall performance of the series will be defined by the series, no doubt about that,” he added.  

The third session on the second day of the final Test between Australia and India was lost to rain. The eagerness of the hosts to get back on the field was visible with skipper Tim Paine constantly speaking to the match officials, but it wasn't to be as a wet outfield saw the umpires call for an early end to the day's proceedings. "I don't think it is going to be a rush from us. As you know when you are bowling, you can't speed up the game anyway. It is all about the process, delivering the right balls in the right areas and keeping it as simple as that. It is enough to roll them for a low score. As it stands at the moment, very little we can do to accelerate the game. They got some quality batters and it will take quality effort to bowl out them in the first innings," McDonald added.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
AGENCIES
SHARE THIS STORYCOMMENT

England's tour of India 2021

England's tour of India 2021