Rohit's wicket huge for us going into day five: Langer

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10 Jan 2021 | 08:59 AM
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Rohit's wicket huge for us going into day five: Langer

The Australian coach also called it a shame and one of his greatest "pet hates" after some spectators directed racial abuse at Indian players

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Australian head coach Justin Langer on Sunday said the dismissal of India opener Rohit Sharma late on day four was a huge wicket for the hosts and hoped that off-spinner Nathon Lyon will help them take a 2-1 series lead on day five of the third Test.

In pursuit of an improbable 407, India were 98/2 at stumps on day four, having lost Shubman Gill (31) and Rohit (52) after they shared 71 runs for the opening wicket.

"It was a bit of a relief for us to see Rohit Sharma out there in the end, that's a huge wicket for us because we know he's a world class player. We know he's one of the all-time great one-day players so if he was out there, he's going to keep scoring quickly, Langer said at the virtual post-day press conference.

The former Australia opener hoped that the surface would start spinning more on day five to make their task easier.

"There's very little in this wicket, we've seen that throughout the whole Test match. Great credit to the bowlers but we're going to have to squeeze really hard, keep the pressure on and hopefully the ball will start spinning a bit more again tomorrow for Nathan Lyon.

"And we'll just keep doing what we're doing. There's a little bit of variable bounce, hopefully that plays a part for us tomorrow as well," said Langer.

According to the head coach, Lyon's role will be crucial on the final day.

"It's spinning a little bit. It's been quite slow, too. I mentioned to all the players this morning but particularly made the point to Nathan in front of all the players...

"...I thought he bowled particularly well in the first innings without luck, he might get a little bit more luck in the second dig. He'll play a big part, he said.

Langer was also all praise for his bowling unit and then lauded his team's fielding, especially for three run outs on day three.

"Sorry, it is upsetting and it is disappointing" 

Australia coach called it a shame and one of his greatest "pet hates" after some spectators directed racial abuse at Indian players during the third Test and were expelled from the Sydney Cricket Ground for their behaviour.

Play was halted for a few minutes on the fourth day after visiting pacer Mohammed Siraj complained of racial abuse from a section of the crowd, leading to expulsion of some spectators and an unreserved apology from the host board.

At the end of the day's play, multiple questions were directed at Langer on the issue and the former Australia opener stressed on education.

"I have just read a book on the history of Australia and watched some good documentaries a couple of times in the last few months. It's saddening, we are educating ourselves and it makes you feel very sad that people are subjected to racism," Langer said referring to the Australia's troubled history with regards the indigenous aboriginals.

"When you start getting educated... About what has happened in the history of Australia you can understand why it's so hurtful," he added.

Reacting to the two episodes of racism against the visiting team in as many days, Langer said it was a shame that such a hard-fought series was tarnished by incidents like these.

"Sorry, it is upsetting and it is disappointing," he asserted.

"...it is one of my greatest pet hates in life, that people can think they can come to a sporting event, whether it is cricket or any kind and pay their money and think that they can abuse or so whatever they like.

"I mean, I have hated it as a player, I have hated it as a coach, we have seen in different parts of the world, it is really sad to see this happen in Australia," he said.

Langer said it is especially frustrating when the cricket itself has been nothing less than exciting so far.

"I think our series so far has been played in such great spirit, it has been incredible cricket, it has been brilliant to watch on field, it's been really played in good spirit between both the teams.

"It's a shame to see (the series) getting marred by incidents like that we are hearing about today and last night."

Local media reported that six people were expelled from the SCG by the security during the nearly 10-minute halt in the on-ground proceedings.

During the second session of the fourth day, India players huddled in the centre when Siraj, standing at the square leg boundary, complained of abuse after being hit for two consecutive sixes by Cameron Green in his over.

This prompted the security personnel to enter the stands and look for the mischief monger before a group of people was asked to leave the stands.

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India tour of Australia, 2020/21IndiaAustraliaAustralia vs India - 3rd Test - Border-Gavaskar Trophy, 2020/21

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