Indore, March 3 (IANS) After a comprehensive nine-wicket loss to Australia in the third Test here, India skipper Rohit Sharma admitted that the hosts paid the price of not batting well in the first innings.
On Day One of the Test, India lost even wickets in the first session after electing to bat first, as Matthew Kuhnemann ran through to pick his maiden five-wicket haul as they were bowled out for meagre 109.
“When you lose a Test match, there’s a lot of things that didn’t go our way. To start with, we didn’t bat well in the first innings. We understand how important it is to put runs on the board in the first innings. And obviously, when they got an 80-90 run lead, we needed to put in a big performance with the bat but we couldn’t do that, taking just a 75-run lead,” he said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
In the second innings, barring top-order batter Cheteshwar Pujara’s 59, none of the batters stepped up as Nathan Lyon took an eight-wicket haul. We had to try and be brave, which I think we were not. We can take a lot of credit as well, how we batted in the first two games.”
“One odd game can happen where things don’t come together, but even then you need players to come together and chip in. We wanted a few guys to stand up but it didn’t happen. We were slightly behind and we did not apply ourselves the way we would have liked to.”
India’s bowlers also struggled later as Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne helped Australia take an 88-run lead. With the series scoreline at 2-1, India now need to win the fourth and final Test at Ahmedabad, starting from March 9, to get a shot at sealing a spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
“Honestly, we haven’t thought about it yet. We just finished this Test now so we need to regroup and try. We need to understand that we need to improve as a team. When you are playing on challenging pitches you have to bowl. We allowed their bowlers to bowl in one spot. Not to take any credit away from their bowlers, Nathan Lyon especially.”