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India vs Australia: Bangar Praises Pujara & Rahane But Says More is Expected From Lower Order

PTI |December 9, 2018, 5:08 PM IST
India vs Australia: Bangar Praises Pujara & Rahane But Says More is Expected From Lower Order

India’s assistant coach Sanjay Bangar highlighted the lower order collapse as one of the areas the team can improve going ahead in the Test series against Australia and said it is now about “crossing the line”.

The visitors lost their last seven wickets for 73 runs and the last five for 25 runs as they were bowled out for 307 runs in the second innings of the opening Test at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

Chasing 323, Australia finished day four at 104 for four. Bangar said the expectation was of another 25 runs from the lower order, which collapsed as soon as Rishabh Pant holed out after an attacking innings.

“We were expecting at least 25 runs. That’s an area where we are continuously looking to improve. And we hope the lower order, especially number 9, 10 and 11 show more application than they did today,” he said.

“When Rishabh Pant walked in we were 260-odd. Immediately he released the pressure and gave us those quick 30-35 runs. Once he had put us in that position, we expected that with time, with a better approach and calculation, tactically he could have done better.

“But you don’t want to take the fearlessness away from him otherwise. Hitting against the turn and getting those boundaries are high percentage shots. Those are the shots that many courageous players have played.

When asked if Pant needs to re-look at certain aspects of his batting, Bangar replied, “He is a pretty mature player. He is capable of playing both games. He has another aspect to his game and for somebody who is just starting his career, it is an exciting prospect to have.”

Bangar said that it bodes well that Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have started this series well and that they had batted in some very difficult conditions in South Africa and England.

“Pujara showed tremendous application especially after where we were at the end of the first session.

“About Rahane and Pujara both are quality Test batsmen and whenever they have done well, they have put us in a good position.”

Talking further about Pujara, Bangar said that he has achieved his set targets.

“He himself said that it is one of his best knocks. On the back of it, he has made a big contribution in the second innings as well. The big score had been elusive but he has managed to surpass those obstacles.”

'Did it in Dubai, Can Do it Again in Adelaide'

Australia have drawn inspiration from a miraculous draw against Pakistan two months ago and will be going for a win on day five of the first Test against India in Adelaide on Monday. Lyon has said that the day five wicket at the Adelaide Oval will still be good enough to bat on, and that the hosts can press on to chase the 323-run target set by India.

They finished day four at 104-4, with Shaun Marsh, Travis Head and Tim Paine the last three recognized batsmen remaining. Australia had pulled off a miraculous draw on the final day in Dubai and Lyon was confident that it could be repeated on Monday.

“We just spoke about Dubai. We still believe we can win this, and that’s the best thing. We still believe we’re in this game, it’s just about coming out tomorrow, winning the first ball, first over, first hour, just breaking it down, very simple. We need not complicate things, enjoy ourselves, compete hard and fight our backsides off. We’ve had that belief before when our backs have been against the wall, but we’ve got a massive sniff here, I believe anyway, in this Test match,” said Lyon, who took 6-122 in the second Indian innings.

“I think the pitch has quickened up a little bit and is doing a lot less for the seamers. It’s definitely spinning and they’ve got a world-class spinner. So it’s going to be a great challenge for our batters out there with two left-handers, with R Ashwin spinning away,” he added.

Australia were a bit unlucky that Aaron Finch walked without using DRS, but Lyon said that there wasn’t enough to upturn that dismissal.

“I don’t think he was going to get away with it. I’ve spoken to the third umpire (Chris Gaffaney) who said it was out or there was inconclusive evidence to overturn the decision. Finchy’s fine and it’s been a great learning curve for Aaron. He’ll take a lot out of this first Test match at home and he’ll be better for the run,” he said.

Marsh and Head batted out 12.1 overs before stumps, putting on 20 runs, and Lyon posed great faith in them to win the game for Australia.

Talking about Head’s inexperience, who did score 72 runs in the first innings, the spinner said, “We are a very young cricket side and we are striving, building and training our backsides off to be the best cricket side we possibly can be. We’re challenging ourselves against the No. 1 Test side, so of course its a massive learning curve.

“I’ve been extremely impressed with Marcus Harris and especially Travis Head this Test match, they way they’ve gone about things. Yeah Marcus hasn’t got the rewards he’d like, but there’s a chance for Travis Head to come out and make a hero of himself on his home ground.”

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2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
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1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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