Veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh defended young opener Shubman Gill after his flop show with the bat in the ongoing third Test against Australia in Indore. Shubman, who replaced KL Rahul in the XI for the Indore Test, scored 21 and 5 as he failed to tackle the Aussie spinners on a rank-turner.
Harbhajan asserted that it’s tough for anyone to survive on Indore’s pitch with the defence as he pointed out that Pujara also used his feet to score runs on Day 2.
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“See, the game plan is simple here. You can’t survive on this pitch with defence. Pujara was using his feet throughout his innings. If you’re thinking that you can wait out for a spell and score runs later, it won’t work. Even if you’re playing on 70-80 on this pitch, you can get out with just one odd delivery," Harbhajan said on Star Sports.
The veteran spinner further said that Shubman’s approach was right but he missed out unfortunately and got castled.
“You have to look out for the opportunity to score runs. You need to see where you can get a four. Shubman wanted to go for a six, and when you consider the pitch condition here, his approach was right because you can’t defend on this pitch for long," he added.
India was bundled out for just 109 after opting to bat first on day one of the third Test, where Australia’s left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann claimed his maiden five-fer.
In the second innings off-spinner Nathan Lyon completed his second eight-wicket haul in Test cricket to bowl out India for 169 and put Australia on the verge of a victory in third Test at the Holkar Stadium on Thursday.
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Harbhajan also lauded Umesh Yadav for his impressive show with the ball on Day 2 as he dismantled Australia’s lower-order early.
“We saw spinners dominate here. But for me, the best moment was when Umesh Yadav picked up those three wickets on a pitch where he was not being given bowling at all and it was being asked why he was played because 25-30 more runs might have been scored if another batter had played instead of him," he added.
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