A mediocre batting performance by Australia in the first innings saw them crumbling on a score of just 151. But a poor batting display wasn't backed by a lethargic bowling performance. Pat Cummins was in a mood to bring his team back in the game to some extent.
The Australian pacer bagged four wickets out of five to leave India on 54/5 at the end of third day's play. Though this performance won't ease things for the hosts as the tourists already have a lead of 346 which seems like ungettable for now.
Talking about batting last on this pitch, Cummins said the Australian batsman will have to show characters like Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli.
“It was obviously not ideal. We turned up thinking of a good first innings score and be right in the game. We wanted to take this result away from them. This is a young batting group and they are working hard. They are trying their best, but it is just one of those things. Today it didn’t come off,” Cummins said after the day’s play.
“What we saw from India’s first innings, we saw temperament of Pujara and Virat and how they pace their innings. They absorb pressure because, on this kind of wicket, it is hard to score runs.
“You have to face a lot of balls to get big scores and it is probably one of those wickets where you do the hard work early. Keep absorbing pressure and score later, but evidently, it did not work for us today,” he added.
Pujara in the first innings scored 106 and Kohli added 82 runs. However, they both bagged a duck in the second innings trying to score quickly. It was Cummins who got them both with an identical way of dismissal.
Cummins understands that the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner will surely affect the result. “It’s always going to be hard missing two of your best players. We’ve known for nine months (that Steve Smith and David Warner won’t be available). Others have to stand up. It probably highlights the class they’ve had in previous years but we’ve got find to find a way,” Cummins said.
“Everyone here is good enough. They’ve done it at the level below, all of them are the best (Sheffield) Shield players and most of them have done it for Australia before. Wicket feels pretty good still, so everyone feels like in the second innings they can face more balls and get going,” he added.
Cummins has picked up seven wickets in the game till now and there is every possibility that he may get a 10-wicket haul in this game. His second innings figure read, 6-2-10-4.
“I am pretty tired, exhausted but the good thing is that coming into this series I felt really fresh. Hopefully, there won’t be too many overs tomorrow and we won’t have to bowl last in this game. So hopefully there will be a 4-5 day break before Sydney,” Cummins said.
“If we knock them over in the morning, you just never know. We tried to make it very hard for every run. The wicket is still pretty good, tough to score runs. But we saw last year we batted really well on day four and five (at the MCG), you dare to dream.
“But it’s still a long way left in the game. For India to move the game forward will be hard tomorrow (Saturday). They will have to bat long and we will just take it as deep as possible,” he signed off.
(WITH PTI INPUTS)