Team India had a forgetful day on Friday after they faced a nine-wicket defeat against Australia in the third Test of the four-match series in Indore. After being bowled out for 163 in the second innings, the Rohit Sharma-led side had a lead by 75 runs, which was chased by the visitors in the just few hours on Day 3 at a loss of one-wicket. For Australia, Travis Head (49*) and Marnus Labuschagne (28*) stitched a parternship of 78 runs and helped them qualify into the final of the World Test Championship. It was a tough day for India as their top-batting order struggled to face the spinners as the Indore pitch offered a lot of turn.
The likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Cheteshwar Pujara have been able to deliver a promising performance in the ongoing series. Veteran India wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik stated that the failure of Team India’s top-order has been “camouflaged” by the contributions from the lower order.
“We cannot hide from the fact that India’s top 7 haven’t got the scores that they would like. We are talking about consistent collapses. Is batting difficult on this pit? Most definitely. But as a team they have chosen to play on these pitches which means they need to back themselves on them. They are capable of it, a lot of the players in isolation have probably played on tougher pitches and succeeded but playing international cricket is a different ball game,” said Karthik on Cricbuzz.
“When you get out a couple of times there are so many doubts that come, the confidence gets low. And then, to go out there and still back yourself just to play those big shots to get away from pressure can be really hard. I completely empathise with the Indian batters, it is hard work, but that is what Test cricket is,” he said.
The Indian skipper smashed a century in the first Test but has not been upto the mark in the next two games. Virat has scored only 111 runs in four innings while Pujara redeemed himself with a half-century in the third Test. Apart from them, all-rounder Axar Patel has scored 185 runs in the series so far.
“They will accept that a large part of it has been camouflaged by two things – the lower order contributions and the fact that India have won both those matches. If you rewind and go to the Bangladesh series, there also they struggled against spinners but it was camouflaged by India winning those matches and the lower order contributions. But when you lose a match, it is glaringly obvious, it is right in your face and people will speak about it and they are right in doing it. It has happened consistently over a period of time and the question will arise, how is it that team India is consistently backing these players but they are not producing the scores that is required,” said Karthik.
Head (49 not out) and Labuschagne (28 not out) survived some anxious moments before taking Australia home in 18.5 overs as the match got over in little over two days.
Wins in India are rare for the visiting teams and it is no different for Australia, who recorded their first victory on Indian soil in six years.
For India, it was only their third defeat in the last 10 years and they will need to rework their plans ahead of the final Test, beginning in Ahmedabad from March 9.
With PTI Inputs
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