After bundling out Australia for 195, India finished day 1 at 36 for 1.
Indian batsmen would look to be “confident without being reckless” and take one session at a time, said pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah after a fine bowling performance put the visitors in command against Australia on the opening day of the second Test here.
Bumrah took 4 for 56 and was complemented well by Ravichandran Ashwin (3 for 25) and debutant Mohammed Siraj (2 for 40) in engineering Australia’s collapse to 195.
Asked what would be the visitors’ batting approach having finished the day at 36 for 1 and the memories of the first Test’s 36 all out still fresh, Bumrah replied: “We are not looking too far ahead. We are looking at one session at a time.
“We don’t want to be conservative in our mindset and be positive. Control the controllables. Not being reckless but playing with confidence will be the motive going forward,” added the bowler, well aware of the challenge ahead.
One of the striking moves by skipper Ajinkya Rahane was introducing Ashwin in the first hour of play.
“When we were bowling in the morning there was some moisture on the wicket, so you saw Ashwin and Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) got some spin.
“…because we wanted to make the most of the moisture, we were trying to use them, he (Ashwin) was getting good bounce,” Bumrah said after the end of the first day’s play.
Rahane”s field placements came in for a lot of praise from none other than Shane Warne and Bumrah said that in the second session, the bowlers altered the line knowing that pitch was becoming easier to bat on.
“There was constant discussions going on between bowlers and the captain. The wicket changed after the first session. It got better to bat on in the second session and moisture went away.
“We were just trying to communicate what kind of lines we wanted to bowl so that we can set the field accordingly. When there was less help, we tried to change the line accordingly,” he said.
Bumrah, however, downplayed any suggestions about this being India’s best day 1 bowling effort overseas Tests since he joined.
“We don”t think like that and we just wanted to create pressure from both ends. Ash bowled brilliantly and so did Siraj. We were all trying to help each other,” the speedster said.
As a senior bowler, Bumrah was all praise for debutant Siraj, who was decent in his first outing in the traditional format.
“He has worked really hard and come up the ranks. He was eager to bowl in the first session itself. There wasn’t a lot happening after lunch and he (Siraj) bowled with a lot of control,” he said.
“Suddenly he started getting some movement and wanted to make the best of it. Playing his first Test match, he bowled really well and had confidence of using all his skills. It”s a heartening sign for us and hopefully he will continue doing that.” Teams batting on the second day have won more Test matches at the MCG but Bumrah doesn’t want to look into statistics like that.
“We are trying to focus on things that are in our hands. The focus will be on the first session tomorrow.” Bumrah also brushed aside the controversial decision by TV umpire Paul Wilson, ruling rival captain Tim Paine not out despite replays showing otherwise. The decision invited sharp criticism from Shane Warne.
“Is it about time that ICC started to look at having neutral umpires on board by quarantining them just like players? Look, these are the things that we can’t control, I understand that the situations are difficult and all of these things are out of our hands, so I try not to focus on those things that we can’’t control.
“Yeah, it is unfortunate that the umpires are not able to travel, but it is something that I don’t have any power of changing, so we try to focus on the things we can,” said Bumrah about the decision that didn’t have much impact in how the day panned out for India as Paine was dismissed shortly after.
Indians kept us under pressure, says Labuschagne
Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne lauded Indian bowlers for coming up with “new ideas” in the second Test that started here on Saturday, acknowledging that his side felt under pressure during its rather disappointing first essay.
“Certainly, we could have done better. We probably had three dismissals we did not probably need to,” Labuschagne, who top-scored with a 48 from 132 balls, said at a virtual press conference facilitated by official broadcasters Sony after the day’s play.
“They (Indians) were bowling straight and (we are) not getting many runs on the off-side. Bowlers come up with new ideas to stop scoring, built pressure as they did today,” he added.
“I faced 130 balls (or) something (like that). That is the challenge we face as a batting group and we love it.” The 22-year-old right-handed batsman said his side would learn from its first innings performance and try to score big in the second essay.
“It is not necessary that six batsmen (get run) every innings, sometimes it is one or two.
“It is a big job for the batting unit whoever is in the day, it may be myself or anyone else in the top order, he will have to ensure big scores.” Asked about the Australians” battle with Ashwin, he said, “People are coming up with new ways like leg side field, bowled straight.
“(We) are just understanding and learning what he is doing. That is the key. We always do that as a batting group and keep better from learning.” He said the MCG pitch is helping the bowlers a little bit more than usual. “During the game, we certainly had a chat. Teams have very good bowling line-ups and there was a little bit more in it (pitch).
“There was more seam and little bit more swing today which was something (that was) probably not seen usually at the MCG. We have to adapt and make sure that we score big in the second innings.” Asked about the review India took against him in the 16th over after Bumrah”s LBW claim was shot down by the umpire, Labuschagne said, “There was the technology, I am not sure (the exact thing). Lucky enough to get away with it.” On his impression of debutant India pacer Mohammed Siraj, he said, “He is more of a swing bowler than a seam bowler. He is nearly six feet, swings away from lefties.
“He certainly has skills. We have to make sure we understand what they are trying to do and come back strong.” He also said he was not affected by a hit on his helmet as he was “accustomed to it” and just “had to shake it off”.
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