Bengaluru: India assistant coach Sanjay Bangar feels that one should not read too much into Virat Kohli’s failures with the bat in the opening two Tests against Australia as he has enjoyed an outstanding run in the home season before this series.
“Virat’s batting has been outstanding. So we should not be commenting on one or two failures when he has been so successful. Virat’s mindset is that he will learn from failures. This is his greatness. In the coming matches, he will perform well,” said Bangar after stumps on day three of the evenly balanced second Test.
Kohli was dismissed cheaply for the fourth time in as many innings after he unsuccessfully reviewed a lbw decision off Josh Hazlewood, leaving the star batsman disappointed.
“We were all quite disappointed. If there was conclusive evidence, it would have been better. Virat was really pumped up. He is a big match, big impact player, wanted to succeed very badly. So it was a normal sort of reaction in the dressing room when he gets out cheaply,” said Bangar.
The DRS review went with the on-field umpire’s call.
“This has gone to that extent, but we are new to DRS. the rules have also been tweaked a bit. So whatever it is umpire’s call becomes very crucial. We have not really sat down and evaluated but we are learning as we are playing.
“It is for the administrators to decide on what particular technology should be used,” he felt.
India, meanwhile, put up a much improved batting show in the second innings and lead Australia by 126 runs going into day four with six wickets in hand.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane shared an unbeaten 93-run stand for the fifth wicket to resurrect the innings after losing the first four wickets for 120 runs. The 29-year-old Pujara, who recorded his 14th Test fifty in his 46th Test, capitalised on a dropped chance by Smith at first slip off Nathan Lyon when he was on four.
Off-spinner Lyon, who had grabbed a career-best Test haul of 8-50 in the first innings, went wicketless on a day when Indian spinner Ravindra Jadeja claimed six wickets.
The hosts were 213 for four at stumps, leading Australia by 126 runs in their second innings after the tourists’ hopes of building a big lead were undermined by an outstanding bowling performance by Jadeja. Pujara on 79 and Ajinkya Rahane on 40 were batting at close of play.
The duo put together a stubborn 93-run partnership for the fifth wicket to lift India from a wobbly 120-4 at Bangalore’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Pujara led the way with his controlled knock as he kept a persistent Australian attack at bay, prompting skipper Steve Smith to rotate his bowling options.
Bangar praised the batsmen, saying they were finally able to apply themselves in the centre.
“We looked into the past of how we performed and what are the areas we have to adapt. After the chat we came out with solutions. The batsmen really applied themselves, used their feet quite a bit, trying to get to the pitch of the ball and also play on the back foot. So, they put up definitely their best efforts than what they did in the previous three innings,” he said.
Bangar said the game was evenly balanced.
“We fought really well over the past two days, overcoming the setback of not scoring enough runs in the first innings. Now we are back in the game and will not let the game run away from us.
India (1st innings) 189
Australia (1st innings)
M. Wade lbw b Jadeja 40
M. Starc c Jadeja b Ashwin 26
S. O’Keefe not out 4
N. Lyon lbw b Jadeja 0
J. Hazlewood c Rahul b Jadeja 1
Extras (b14, lb3, nb5) 22
Total (all out, 122.4 overs) 276
Fall of wickets: 1-52 (Warner), 2-82 (Smith), 3-134 (Renshaw), 4-160 (Handscomb), 5-163 (M. Marsh), 6-220 (S. Marsh), 7-269 (Starc), 8-274 (Wade), 9-274 (Lyon), 10-276 (Hazlewood)
Bowling: Sharma 27-8-48-1 (3nb), Yadav 24-7-57-1 (1nb), Ashwin 49-13-84-2, Jadeja 21.4-1-63-6, Nair 1-0-7-0
India (2nd innings)
L. Rahul c Smith b O’Keefe 51
A. Mukund b Hazlewood 16
C. Pujara not out 79
V. Kohli lbw b Hazlewood 15
R. Jadeja b Hazlewood 2
A. Rahane not out 40
Extras (b10) 10
Total (4 wickets; 72 overs) 213
Fall of wickets: 1-39 (Mukund), 2-84 (Rahul), 3-112 (Kohli), 4-120 (Jadeja)
Bowling: Starc 10-0-45-0, Hazlewood 16-0-57-3, Lyon 27-2-69-0, O’Keefe 16-3-28-1, M. Marsh 3-0-4-0
Still to bat: K. Nair, R. Ashwin, W. Saha, I. Sharma, U. Yadav