We stuck to our plans and that paid off, says skipper Rohit Sharma
NEW DELHI: Travis Head’s onslaught on the second evening of the Delhi Test had caused “panic” in the Indian camp but skipper Rohit Sharma had a long chat with his three spinners to ensure the host did not waver from its original plans.
With his attacking 39 not out, Head, opening the innings for the first time in the absence of injured David Warner, surprised the host and took Australia to 61 for one at close of play on day two of the second Test. Rohit sensed panic, prompting him to speak to his seasoned spin trio of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel before the start of play on Sunday morning. In the end, the feared combination of Ashwin and Jadeja ensured a six-wicket win for India, as Australia’s mindless aggression backfired.
“Sometimes you got to keep it simple and not fret too much about what is happening. Yesterday (Saturday) they were about 62 (61) for one in 12 overs which is more than five runs per over. I could see we were panicking a little and we were trying to change fields way too many times. “In the morning, I just wanted to tell those three guys (spinners) to keep it calm. We don’t need to change field as often as we did on the second evening. We keep it tight, and let batters make that mistake. “I could sense it they wanted to play that way (aggressive) and that wicket was not where you could come out and just keep playing the shots,” said Rohit.
Jadeja, who ended with a match haul of 10 wickets, and Ashwin kept targeting the stumps and Australia self-destructed with the majority of its batters falling to sweep or reverse sweep.
“If they are playing some shots, we are not going to change our plans as a bowling unit. Axar, Jaddu and Ash have played a lot of cricket in these conditions. You have got to trust them when things are not going your way.”
Australia captain Pat Cummins acknowledged the effort of the Indian lower order. Two back-to back hundred plus partnerships for the eighth wicket (Axar-Jadeja in Nagpur, Axar-Ashwin in Delhi) became a decisive factor.
“Again they batted very well. They are guys who have scored Test hundreds and batted really well. I thought our plans were pretty sound most of the time but unfortunately, they built partnerships.
“A couple of those times the first two days, it felt like if you got yourself in (set), it was going to get a little easier. The ball was getting softer and older as well. It’s something we will look at. It’s disappointing. Those small margins in both games ended up making a pretty big difference.”
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