Published on: Mar 04, 2023
Reflecting on India’s nine-wicket loss to Australia in the Indore Test, captain Rohit Sharma opined that his batters did not do enough to challenge the opposition bowlers, allowing them to get on top. He, however, credited veteran Aussie off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who ran through the Indian batting line-up with figures of 8/64 in the second innings.
India won the toss and batted first in Indore. However, they came up with a very poor effort to be bowled out for 109 on the opening day of the match. The Indian bowlers brought the hosts back in the game, cleaning up Australia for 197. However, the batters failed to capitalize again and this time were bundled out for 163. Australia needed only 76 runs to win the Test, a target they achieved with ease.
Speaking at a press conference following India’s defeat, Rohit urged his batters to be more proactive against the bowlers in challenging conditions. He stated, “Look, when you’re playing on challenging pitches, you’ve got to be brave, honestly. I just felt we allowed their bowlers to bowl on one particular spot.
“But not taking any credit away from their bowlers, especially Nathan Lyon. He was brilliant, he kept challenging us, kept hitting that right length. So yeah, when the bowler is doing that, you’ve got to come out with your plans and try and do different things; try and be a little brave as well, which I thought we were not.”
The 35-year-old added that Shreyas Iyer’s aggressive approach was something India needed to try and turn around the tide. Speaking of the middle-order batter’s cameo (26 off 27 balls) in the second innings, Rohit stated, “When you’re playing on pitches like this, you need a Shreyas Iyer kind of an inning. Someone has to step up, someone has to take down the bowlers. It cannot be always that the batters will get 100 runs, 90 runs, 80 runs; you have to play cameos like that.
“If one of the top batters can get a big score, that’s a plus – that’s great – but when you know the pitch offers something, there is a challenge. You need guys to go out there and play the way Iyer did,” he continued.
Rohit, however, also backed Cheteshwar Pujara, who top-scored for India in the second innings with 59 off 142 balls. The Indian captain stated that every batter in the team needs to find his own way to deal with the bowling. He concluded, “Pujara [was] being Pujara. He loves spending time in the middle, he wants to grind it out, that’s his way of doing it. May not be the same way for a lot of the other guys.
“That is something that we spoke in our group as well, find your own methods of going out there and doing your job. As long as the job gets done, we are happy as a unit.”
The final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which India must win to qualify for the WTC 2023 final, begins at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad from March 9.
–By A Cricket Correspondent