On the third day of the ongoing third Test match, India got a good start as they took Usman Khawaja’s wicket early. Ashwin made him walk off to the pavilion on the second ball of the day. This wicket was important because he (Khawaja) played well in the first innings.
The captain (Rohit Sharma) has had two options: Ashwin and Jadeja as wicket takers. If you are defending a small score and you have given up early 20 to 25 runs, then in a way the match gets out of your hands. The biggest issue is: If India is playing on such a wicket, is it fair? Doesn’t our team have enough ability to compete? I am sure that India had the strength to win the match by giving Australia a good fight. We have done this before. All the Indian batsmen except Pujara doesn’t showed the ability to get set and play. Secondly, Axar Patel, who is in good form, should have been sent up early in the batting, this could’ve helped in adding up to 15-20 runs. Here, the biggest question is, “What is the need to make such a wicket? Even in domestic cricket, such pitches are not available. In the Irani Cup, 400 runs are being scored. The first day of Indore’s wicket was looking like a fifth day. Both black and red soil was used here.
The uneven bounce continued to be a challenge for the batsmen. Nathan Lyon is a great bowler, he became the big difference between the two teams. While Ashwin also bowled well in all three Tests. Let’s see, what the nature of Ahmedabad’s wicket is going to be. Nathan Lyon will do well again, but I believe we will learn from these mistakes. The last time when the England team came here, we had made the same pitch where we lost the first Test. Adapting and then playing matter a lot.
We have very good batsmen and bowlers. I am sure the Indian team will win in Ahmedabad and reach the World Test Championship finals. I want the pitch to be prepared according to Oval’s condition so that we can prepare well for the finals.(The author has been a wicketkeeper batsman and selector for Team India.)