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Pat Cummins rues batters not converting after getting starts

Last updated on 11 Feb 2023 | 11:55 AM
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Pat Cummins rues batters not converting after getting starts

Four Australia batters went past 30 in their first innings, with Marnus Labuschagne top-scoring with 49

Australia captain Pat Cummins rues the fact that a couple of batters who got in did not go on to make it big. In the first innings, Marnus Labuschagne (49) and Steven Smith (37) put on 82 for the third wicket and looked in good touch. Once Labuschagne was dismissed, Australia lost wickets at regular intervals and were cleaned up for just 177 after deciding to bat first.

"The game moves pretty quickly at times. You have to manage your tempos. Thought India played really well, their spinners are always going to be hard work when the wicket is spinning and thought Rohit showed his class. That first innings, the wicket spun but wasn't unplayable. Would have loved another 100 or so runs and put a bit more pressure on their first innings," Cummins said after the match.

"Obviously starting here is tough but three or four of our guys got in and started to look pretty comfortable in the first innings. Those guys who do get in have got to turn it into big scores. [Todd Murphy] He was fantastic on debut. He's been very impressive. Bowled plenty overs."

India skipper Rohit Sharma scored his first Test century as captain but it has not been an easy fewmonths for him. He missed a plenty of series against England, South Africa and Bangladesh, along the way due to injuries, but returned to score a vital 120 that helped India to a formidable 400, thereby gifing them a lead of 223 runs.

"Yeah, it was [a special hundred], considering a lot of things. Start of the series, very important where we stand in the championship table, important for us to start well. We know playing a series like this it's important to start well. Happy I could put up a performance which could help the team. I was unfortunate I had to miss a few Test matches but happy to be back," a jubilant Rohit said. 

"Since I was appointed I played only two Tests, got Covid in England, missed three in South Africa, freak injury in Bangladesh. Things can happen when you play for a long time, but I've had injuries in the past so know how to come back from them."

Rohit looked in control throughout his innings and he puts that down to experience of previously playing in Mumbai on turning tracks.

"The last few years the kind of pitches we have in India who have to have a clear mindset and plan to get runs. Since I started opening I have tried to figure methods. Have grown up a lot in Mumbai on surfaces which turn a lot. You need to use your feet, at the same time put pressure on the bowlers. You have to do something different, and that can be your way. You need to understand what you can do and not look at anyone else," the India skipper said.

Rohit also felt that India were very much on top when Australia were reduced to 2 for 2 in the early stages of the match. With the focus being on spin so much, it was the Indian pacers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj who dismissed the openers quickly to put India in the driver's seat.

"It was the first two overs from the seamers to be honest, 2 for 2 to start a game you are pretty much in the ascendency...the opposition is always under pressure because we know we have quality in the spin department but the seamers, not to forget, can be quite threatening on a surface like that. They know how to exploit those conditions. Glad all our batters could put up a show, get 400 and enough lead then the spinners came into the picture."

Player of the match Ravindra Jadeja puts his all-round effort to the hard work he put in at the NCA following his knee surgery.

"It feels amazing...after five months, give 100%, taking wickets and scoring runs. Feels amazing. I've been working hard when I was at NCA, also doing my rehab. Would like to thank all the NCA staff, physios, trainers, they have been working hard with me," Jadeja, who pouched seven wicket in the match and scored a crucial 70, said.

"I looked to bowl in good areas, the ball was spinning, the ball was going straight and also keeping low. I know the Australians will look to play sweep and reverse sweep. Generally I look to keep things very simple [with the bat] and not change too much. I focus more on my batting now because it's crucial number, 5, 6, 7, so have to put myself in a pressure situation."

After a three-day finish in Nagpur that saw Australia lose by an innings and 132 runs after being bowled out for 91 in the second innings, the action shifts to Delhi for the second Test, starting February 17.

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