India pacer Jasprit Bumrah believes his team can chase down any total that Australia set for them in the Perth Test, despite the hosts being 175 runs ahead with six wickets in hand in the second innings at the end of day three.
At stumps, Australia were 132/4, with Usman Khawaja on 41 and captain Tim Paine on eight, an overall advantage of 175 after leading by 43 runs on the first innings despite a stellar Virat Kohli century.
Bumrah said that India would want to restrict Australia to as few runs as possible on day four.
“Tomorrow, the first session will be important,” he said. “We want to take early wickets, so it will restrict the total to as less as possible and that will help us to chase it in the fourth innings.
“In my eyes, our team is capable of chasing any total but we will try to minimise as much as possible.”
Bumrah also does not believe there are any demons in the green Perth track, in spite of it behaving rather uncertainly on the first day.
“If you see the match, nobody has really gotten out [to balls that come] off the track,” he said. The crack is just there but it doesn’t do a lot. It’s only in the mind.
“So yeah, we will not take that into consideration [while batting],” he added.
In the second innings, the Indian pacers really tested the Australian batting line-up, and didn’t allow them to settle down with regular breakthroughs.
Bumrah said the opening day was the best time to bat on this pitch, adding that he didn’t worry about not taking too many wickets despite bowling splendidly in both innings so far.
“According to me, the way I assess it, the first session of the first day was the best time to bat because we thought the wicket was green but it was not doing a lot,” he said.
“After that I think it hardened up because there was so much heat. Then the bounce increased and the wicket fastened up.
“So, now, after we assessed the pitch in the first innings, we realised the length we had to bowl. We were much clearer in the second innings and from the start we wanted to hit that length.”
Bumrah took just one wicket in Australia’s second innings despite bowling well and he said it is okay as long as his colleagues keep getting wickets.
“Sometimes it happens that you don’t get wickets off good balls but sometimes you get wickets off bad balls,” he said. “My mindset is – everything gets deposited in the back and which can be cashed in one day.
“Basically, as a bowling unit, we wanted to create pressure from both ends, so I was just trying to do that. Some days you get wickets, some days you don’t, but we wanted to create [chances] from both ends.
“If I don’t get the wicket, may be someone else would. That was the basic plan going into the innings to create a lot of pressure. So, yeah, that was it.”
With inputs from PTI and AFP