After the end of first day’s play in Perth, Hanuma Vihari has said that Indian batsmen will have to remain disciplined on a lively pitch against the fiery Aussie pace attack on Day 2.
The pitch which seemed a bit slow in the morning, quickened up in the post-lunch session. After going wicketless in the first session, Indian bowlers bounced back impressively to claim six scalps in the last two sessions. Vihari also took 2/53 as Australia ended the opening day at 277-6.
“For us the important thing is to not think about those aspects too much. If it is up and down, you can’t do much about it. If we can keep that out of mind, we will be successful. As batsmen, we will try to be as disciplined as possible, just how we did in the second innings of the last Test,” Vihari told reporters.
“You have to play ball by ball. That’s what matters. If you are thinking about the previous ball, you won’t react perfectly to the next ball. Keep that ball out of your mind,” he added.
Vihari mentioned that the target for Day 2 is to restrict Australia to 320-odd in the first essay.
“The first hour tomorrow will be very crucial. If we get them out for below 320, we are right back in the game. If we bat well, we have a good chance. The first hour is crucial,” said Vihari.
“Our only plan was to be disciplined. I think we did very well in that aspect. In all three sessions, we bounced back really well. They had so many plays and misses. It happens in the game. Overall we put in a good effort,” he further remarked.
India went in with four pacers for only the third time in their Test history, and Vihari, who bowled 14 overs, said he understood the role of bowling a few overs through this match. Vihari didn’t have the best start but tightened up enough to snare two crucial wickets, dismissing set batsmen Marcus Harris and Shaun Marsh.
“I tried to bowl a little bit quicker because I was trying to hit the surface a little bit more and get the bounce out of the wicket. That was the main idea – try to keep it tight and give the seamers a rest. I knew I would have to step up if required. Overall I was prepared for that. I was happy I could do a job for the team,” Vihari asserted.
“I have done a bit of bowling, even in the Ranji Trophy level, but more in limited overs. I know the idea of where I can make the batsmen play. I try to play with the fields I have. I want to keep it simple and try to do the job for the country. I know my role very well in the team. I try to keep it tight. If the wickets come, it is a bonus. My job is to make the batsman play a loose shot for his runs,” he elaborated.
India were not up to the mark in the field with KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant dropping catches. However, the highlight for India in the field was Virat Kohli’s one-handed blinder at second slip to dismiss Peter Handscomb.
Talking about Kohli’s catch, Vihari said: “It was a blinder. Those are the moments that change the course of the game. We needed something after lunch to change the rhythm. It was a screamer. We were lucky he had come to slip in that very over. It was meant to happen.”
(With PTI inputs)