Ranchi: Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann expects his wards to apply themselves well during the final of the third Test on Monday and see out the tie, keeping all their practice in similar conditions in mind.
Australia were reduced to 23/2 at stumps as Ravindra Jadeja sent opener David Warner and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon back to the hut early. In the first innings, India took a 152-run lead after amassing 603/9 declared in reply to Australia’s 451.
“We’ve got to cope with it as best we can and come up with a plan, and we’ve done a lot of practice in those conditions so I’m really confident they can do the job and see how they go. Be a great challenge for them,” Lehmann told reporters at the end of the fourth day’s play.
“You’ve got to prepare for all scenarios here in India, as you’ve seen the wickets start to wear on day four, day five, this has been a really traditional Indian wicket, a good wicket. It’s quite a challenge. We were preparing in Dubai and that’s what we did and now it’s putting it into practice,” the 47-year-old added.
Lehmann said the visitors have a plan to tackle Jadeja who bowled two excellent deliveries to get rid of Warner and Lyon. “(It was) tough to lose those two wickets tonight, they were some good balls from them. It will be a good challenge for the group to put it into practice tomorrow and we’ve got to do that and to deliver on the big stage.”
“Once the ball gets a little bit softer, it plays pretty well. So there’s no real demons in the track. It’s a case of obviously applying ourselves much like Pujara and Saha did today,” he said.
“We will have to come up with a plan to combat Jadeja but we’ve worked on that and you’ll probably see it tomorrow, I would think.”
Lehmann said the challenge for his team is to get two good partnerships and get a hold of the game.
“They’ve got to believe in what they’re doing as a group and a couple of good balls like tonight that can happen in a game of cricket. For us, it’s a great challenge. The challenge for our group is to put on a couple of partnerships and really get ahead of the game.”
“When you bowl 210 overs, I don’t think that’s happened too often and India do that well. They bat long periods of time here in India,” the former top order batsman opined.
“If anything, it heightens our first innings where we needed to bat a little bit longer. But the bowlers worked really hard and I thought they were fantastic. Chopped and changed as best as they could in the conditions. We’ll see how they pull up and make a decision. But we’ll worry about tomorrow first.”