India captain Rohit Sharma Sunday credited his bowlers for not panicking and sticking to their plan after India beat Australia by six wickets in the second Test match in Delhi.
“It is a fantastic result for us, looking at how things were yesterday. How we came back and finished our job was a great effort, especially from the bowlers. Even though the deficit was just one run, I felt we were very much behind the game considering we had to bat second on that pitch. The kind of effort we put in this morning, to come out and get nine wickets was a fantastic effort,” Sharma said in the post-match presentation.
Australia began day 3 at 61/1 with a 60-run lead over India and looking poised to set India a challenging target to chase of a low and turning pitch. However, the Indian spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin exploited the conditions to the maximum aided by some poor shot selection by the Australian batters. The pair took all 10 wickets between them in the second innings as Australia were bowled out for 113 runs.
“On a pitch like that, you got to come out and try and do different things as well. We were prepared for it. Looking at how they batted last evening, we knew they were going to come and play some shots. For us, it was important not to panic and keep hitting those areas because the pitch would help us,” he said.
“We knew there was a lot in the pitch and we had to the areas rather than panicking and trying to do various things which those guys aren’t used to. I’ve seen them bowl enough and take wickets on these kind of conditions. It was all about waiting for those mistakes to happen and that’s exactly what happened in the morning. We had discussed some things in the morning that we wanted to do, and luckily worked for us,” he added.
Sharma also revealed that due to moisture, the pitch in Delhi loses its bite as the day progresses. With that in mind, the team knew the importance of exploiting the conditions in the first session of the day. The plan, Sharma said, was to bowled with discipline and induce mistakes from the batters.
“Look, every game you play here in this type of weather, there is some moisture on the pitch and what I notice in three days is it has a lot to offer in the first session. As the game goes on in the second and third session, the pitch gets slower and slower and there is not enough bite in the pitch.
“We saw most of the wickets fell in the first session on all three days. It’s something we focussed on. We wanted to keep tight and be disciplined. I had a good chat with the bowlers and they are masters of these conditions. It was important for us to stay calm and let the mistakes happen,” he said.
The third Test between India and Australia will be played from March 1 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.