Australian battling line-up doesn’t look settled: Sachin

Meanwhile Rohit Sharma and David Warner join their respective teams ahead of the third Test in Melbourne. The four-match series is level at 1-1 right now.

NEW DELHI: India’s cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, who has played against some of the finest Australian teams in his time, believes that their current batting line-up is “less settled” with some “playing for their spots”.

Following India’s victory in the second Test at Melbourne after the Adelaide disaster, Tendulkar was speaking to news agency PTI. “When I look at this Australian batting line-up and look at some of the earlier line-ups, I feel earlier line-ups were settled ones. Those players batted with a different kind of intent but this team doesn’t look very settled,” he said.

In three completed Australian innings in the first two Tests, the Indian bowlers bundled them out for 191, 195 and 200 respectively, something not heard of in the days of Allan Border, Mark Taylor, the Waugh brothers. Or during Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Damien Martyn, Adam Gilchrist and even Michael Clarke’s time.

“In this current Australian team, there are players who are not in good form and are unsure about their spots. In earlier teams, those batsmen batted in their slots as there was a lot of surety in their batting line-up,” Tendulkar said.

Tendulkar was all praise for Rahane’s captaincy as well as his match-changing hundred on a day when batting was difficult under overcast conditions. “I felt this was a brilliant performance by our team, the manner in which our team was able to play and the way Ajinkya led the team. Also if you look at senior cricketers and their contribution, it has been good,” he said.

Rahane’s knock of 112, according to Tendulkar, was a perfect blend of caution and aggression. “I thought Ajinkya batted brilliantly. He was calm, relaxed and composed. He had aggressive intent but aggression was rightly balanced by calmness and surety.

Tendulkar also mentioned pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah’s contribution to the victory. “In the fast bowling department, Bumrah as the leader of the attack has taken more responsibility and whenever the chips are down, he has pushed himself harder. That’s the sign of a champion bowler,” he said.

The maestro also praised Gill, who played two impressive innings of 45 and 35, and Siraj, who picked five wickets on debut. “Shubman looked confident and comfortable. He played some good shots off short pitched stuff that Australians bowled. Someone upfront who goes out and scores 45 and 35 so, it is surely a good start,” Tendulkar said of the 21-year-old.

In the meantime, the Indian squad has further been bolstered Rohit Sharma joining the team in Melbourne ahead of their third Test against Australia.

The Indian cricket board on Wednesday posted a video of the opening batsman walking into the team hotel and meeting the squad and staff after he finally finished his quarantine in Sydney.

“Look who’s joined the squad in Melbourne… A warm welcome for @ImRo45 as he joins the team,” said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in its caption to the video.

Rohit had been ruled out of the limited overs leg of India’s tour of Australia due to a hamstring injury he sustained during this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL). He had underwent treatment at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

Rohit flew down to Australia in mid-December just days before the start of the Test series. While being quarantined in Sydney, he has not had any practice and could be rusty which is probably why India’s head coach Ravi Shastri said that the team will consider how he feels before deciding whether to play him in the third Test in Sydney.

“Rohit joins the team tomorrow. We will have a chat with him to see where he is placed physically because he has been quarantined for a couple of weeks. We will have to see now how he feels before we take the call,” said Shastri.

There’s also good news for Australia as David Warner is likely play the last two Test matches against India in the ongoing series after selectors named him in the Australia squad for the Sydney and Brisbane games and dropped out-of-form Joe Burns.

Warner was excluded from the squad that featured in the first two Tests, in Adelaide and Melbourne, following a groin injury he suffered during the second One-day International in Sydney last month.

“David has made strong progress in his recovery from injury and will be given every chance to play in Sydney with another seven days until the match,” said selector Trevor Hohns in a statement released by Cricket Australia.

Hohns said that Burns’s performance has not been up to scratch. “Unfortunately, Joe’s returns haven’t been what he or the selectors would like or what we consider he is capable of,” added Hohns.


Sachin TendulkarTeam India