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It will be a challenge to combat Jadeja: Lehmann

Australia coach Darren Lehmann on Sunday said it would be a real challenge for his team comprising five left-handers to negotiate the left-arm spin of Ravindra Jadeja on the final day here on Monday.

It will be a challenge to combat Jadeja: Lehmann
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Australia coach Darren Lehmann

Ranchi

India today gave a strong reply to Australia’s 451 as Cheteshwar Pujara’s record 525-ball 202 and Wriddhiman Saha’s career-best 117 handed them a 152-run lead.

Jadeja then snapped two wickets to reduce Australia to 23-2, still needing 129 runs with eight wickets in hand to avoid a first innings defeat. “Going to have to come up with a plan to combat Jadeja but we’ve worked on that and you’ll probably see it on Monday I would think,” Lehmann said after the penultimate day’s proceedings.

“They’ve got to believe in what they are doing as a group and a couple of good balls like tonight that can happen in a game of cricket. For us it’s a great challenge. The challenge for our group is to put on a couple of partnerships and really get ahead of the game.”

Jadeja would look to exploit the footmarks, something that has given him a fair amount of success as he backed up his fifer in the first innings with 2/6 in 3.2 overs today. “It was a great ball that got Warner in the end. If they bowl 10 of those so be it. But we’ve got to cope with it as best as we can and come up with a plan and we’ve done a lot of practice in those conditions, so I’m confident they can do the job and see how they go. It’ll be a great challenge for them,” Lehmann said. 

Left worried to save the third Test, Lehman hoped his boys will replicate the innings played by Pujara and Saha on the final day. “Obviously we’ve got to save the game and worry about Monday first. It’s a case of obviously applying ourselves much like Pujara and Saha did today,” Lehmann said. 

Showering praise on Pujara, the Aussie coach said: “He’s very disciplined and played really well.”

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