Australia need only 75 runs to win the third Test in Indore but paceman Umesh Yadav believes India still have an outside chance as the surface is not only offering a lot of turn but is also keeping low.
A total of 14 wickets fell on day one, while 16 batters got out on Thursday (March 2). India were bowled out for just 163 in the second innings, with Nathan Lyon claiming eight wickets for 64 runs.
Cheteshwar Pujara (142-ball 59) was the only batter to put up some fight as Lyon ran through India’s batting line-up. Apart from Pujara, Shreyas Iyer (26) was the only Indian batter to cross the 20-run mark.
“In cricket, anything can happen. We will try our best and bowl tight lines. It is not an easy wicket, whether it is our batters or theirs. It is not easy to step out and hit,” said Umesh, who picked up three wickets in the first session.
“The ball is keeping low as well, so you can’t be sure about stepping out. The runs are fewer but we will stick to tight lines and push as much as we can.”
Australia were 186/4 at one stage before losing their last six wickets for just 11 runs. Playing his first match of the series, Umesh pinned Cameron Green right in front of the stumps before knocking over Mitchell Starc and Todd Murphy.
“My plan on this surface was to bowl straight and push for a wicket or two. As a fast bowler, I have to hit the deck hard and bowl in the right areas. I have played most of my cricket in India, my mindset is always to get a wicket.”
On the scrambled seam, he added: “There was seam movement that is why I tried the scrambled seam. If it was not swinging, it was seaming. Whatever length I bowled there was seam movement and skidding after pitching.”
Umesh, who scored 17 off 13 in the first innings, once again had a chance to make an impact with the bat in the second essay but the right-hander was caught at deep mid-wicket for 0 while trying to hit Lyon out of the park.
Mohammed Siraj too got out while playing an aggressive shot, leaving Axar Patel stranded at the other end.
“We didn’t get any message (to attack) when I went in to bat. My job was to score runs on this tough wicket. It is difficult to get runs here,” said Umesh.
“I feel, rather than defending and getting out eventually, it is better to go for shots on a wicket like this. Even if I would have scored 10-20 runs, that would have pushed the lead to 90. That is more important for me.”