Aussies Complete Formalities For Rare Victory.
Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Rohit Sharma & Co. Lost the match against Kangaroos by nine wickets inside three days only at Holkar Stadium, Indore.
The rare and assertive victory completely turned the tables on India, who were hoping to seal their own spot for for that final here and will now need to rethink their plans for a green top in Ahmedabad as a practice option for that WTC title clash in England in June. In spite of the commanding, standout performances from Aussie off-spinner Nathan Lyon and Cheteshwar Pujara for the hosts, the quality of the contest in this Third Test had an unsettling tone as it was completely overshadowed by the nature of the dry, raging Turner on which it was played.
While such home surfaces are the norm these days, this pitch probably did more than India anticipated. The unexpected defeat, therefore, leaves a whole host of questions in its wake. Interestingly, while it was expected that India captain Rohit Sharma would reiterate that playing on such spin-friendly but unpredictable surfaces was India's strength even if the move backfires once in a blue moon, Australia captain Steve Smith too said he prefers them to the traditionally flat subcontinent tracks of yore.
"This was everyone's call to play on such pitches, " Rohit said. "When we win, everything looks good. Nobody talks about the batting. We know the challenge can turn around on us but we are ready". On tests not lasting the usual five days, Rohit's view was that batters are not applying themselves enough. " People have to play well for the game to last five days. Games are not lasting five days outside India too. Yesterday in South Africa the test finished in three days. In Australia as well.
"It's about skills. If the pitches are helping the bowlers, the batters need to try and test their skills, adapt. In Pakistan, there were three tests played on very flat pitches, people said it was boring. We are trying to keep it interesting. Honestly this pitch talk is just getting too much. Our strength is spin bowling and batting depth. It's not like people have not scored in these conditions. We don't want to prepare a pitch where the results are not coming. I do understand it can come and haunt us as well", Rohit said.
The Aussies pair was initially stoic with their defence but after the ball change, their body language shifted and the 11th and 12th overs yielded 22 runs. In fact, 43 runs came in subsequent 5 overs following the ball change but as skipper Rohit said later, "There were only 70-odd runs and you can't see too much in the change. We just needed more runs on the board. If you look at all the dismissals, we played poorly. Of the 10-wickets may be in one or two the pitch did help the bowler a little bit".
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