Pitch offered more turn than we expected: Batting coach Rathour
INDORE: The India team did not factor in the excessive turn on offer as it was a bad day in office despite playing spin being one of its strengths, batting coach Vikram Rathour claimed on Wednesday.
India was all-out for 109 in a little over one session on the opening day of the third Test, with Australia left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann picking five for 16 in his only second Test.
On the same pitch, the visitor managed to reach 156 for four at stumps and go into day two with a valuable 47-run lead. The ball turning square in the first hour of play, attracted a lot of attention with many criticising the nature of the surface.
Rathour maintained that playing on turners at home remains the team’s strength.
“It is a challenging wicket for sure. More turn than what we expected. Maybe because of the moisture, the ball turned sharply in the morning. We could have made more runs for sure but I do not think anyone played poor or rash cricket. We just had an off day as a batting unit,” Rathour said.
When asked about the risk of playing on turners, Rathour said India could be at the receiving end at times but that remains the team’s strength. “Of course you can get out as a batting unit at times but we do prefer to play on turning tracks. That is our strength, that is where we are really good as a unit. To be fair this is a one-off wicket.
“I do not think the earlier two wickets were bad wickets. It is maybe drier than we expected and we saw that. It did a lot more on first day of the Test match than what we expected,” said the former India opener.
Rathour felt that the pitch might have eased as the day progressed. Usman Khawaja was the standout batter for Australia with a gritty 60 off 147 balls. “It felt like that (the wicket eased out). I won’t be able to comment on that. The guys playing the middle can tell you that better. It felt like it had gone slower later in the day. It was not turning as sharply as it was in the morning.”
Asked if the batters deviated from their plans, Rathour replied in the negative. “Not really. The plan was to trust your defense and wait for the loose balls and score as many runs as you can. It was one of those days when everything you did went into the hands (of fielders). Basically, we just had an off day,” he said.
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