Tide Turn At Indore?
Border-Gavaskar Trophy: New-look Australia hoping to put pressure back on India as third test begins today at Indore, Holkar Stadium.
Amid all the doom and gloom and self-recrimination which has followed Australia's dramatic collapse on the third morning of the Delhi Test it is wise to recall that India were 139/7 in the first innings at the Kotla after Australia had made 263. Take away the Indian lower order's stubborn resistance and the story could have been very different for Australia, who will be boosted by the return of Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc for this Test.
Starc is a straight swap for Cummins while Green will likely replace Matt Renshaw. And the three spinners in the mix, some unpredictable bounce and turn and it is clear there will be no free lunches on either side, as Indian captain Rohit Sharma is all too aware. "That's the beauty of all the pitches we are playing in", Rohit said. " It can happen to us as well, not just them. I was talking to Rahul Bhai the other day and I told him in Nagpur I played close to 200 balls and I never felt that I was set.
"On pitches like these you are never in. It is the same for us as well. What happened to them can happen to us. There have been talks about how we need to be mentally on the ball, every ball that we play. We can not take it lightly. We need to keep that discipline going". That means X-factor spinners Ashwin and Jadeja will do the heavy lifting once again but as Rohit said, " Ashwin and Jadeja know that you just keep it there and try and create that pressure and let the pitch do something for you. That doesn't give us any guarentees that we are going to roll them over in one session".
India do have a lot to play for, with not only a World Test Championship Final berth but also the series and the No. 1 rank at stake. Australia, then, must shed the sense of fatalism and adapt, something Smith has already sensed. He talked about his team's stubborn penchant for the sweep on the variable bounce of the Kotla as a mistake but also backed some of his men to play that shot again here, on a different surface. "We don't have to play at such a high tempo, risky tempo. Because we had them where we wanted them, and we just rushed. We have got ourselves into some good positions but not really been able to make advantage. Hopefully we can rectify that here, " Smith Said.
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