The Australian head coach Darren Lehmann, post a poor show by Australian team on the penultimate day of the Ranchi Test match, said that it’s captain decision to take a call on bowling changes,

“I think that’s captain’s call obviously,” Lehmann said when asked whether underusing Maxwell was to minimise the workload.

“We did speak about it, chopping and changing (the bowlers) a little bit. The game was always on a knife’s edge so you always want your best spinners going. And we chopped and changed a little bit (but Maxwell) probably could have bowled a few more overs. But I thought the spinners toiled really hard as well so that’s a call the captain makes out there and (we’re) happy with that,” he added.

Maxwell was added to the team as a proper all-rounder and on a pitch like this, he could have taken few wickets if given a long spell but skipper Steve Smith just gave him the ball for 24 deliveries, before turning back to Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe, who jointly bowled 123 overs and just bagged four wickets.

Further, Lehman revealed that Aussie bowlers tried everything but both Pujara and Saha batted with an example on how to bat on these sort of wickets,

“We tried over and round the wicket, bowl at the footmarks and short-pitched bowling and all that. They played well. Pujara and Saha showed you can score runs on this kind of wickets. So tomorrow the challenge for a couple of batsmen will be to that,” Lehmann said.

He further revealed that losing two wickets in just 7.2 overs bowled before stumps was tough,

“It was tough to lose those two wickets tonight, some good balls from them. A good challenge for the group. What we’ve put in at practice, obviously we’ve got to do that tomorrow and deliver on the big stage. Great challenge for our group of players to play well. 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 us applying ourselves much like Pujara and Saha did today.”

Australian batsmen have to replicate the form of Wriddhiman Saha and Cheteshwra Pujara if they want to save this Test match or else we might see the game being finished in the first session of the day itself.


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