Indian captain Virat Kohli has showered praise on Ravindra Jadeja, who in his eyes, was the standout bowler among all in the Ranchi Test. The match was a drawn one but Kohli feels Jadeja’s contribution with both bat and ball kept India in the game for a longer period.
Speaking to the media post the match, Kohli said looking at Jadeja’s economy of 1.22, which he attained after bowling 44 overs and conceding 54 runs, his efforts need to be applauded and shouldn’t go unnoticed. Talking further, he said bowling on such a wicket with such consistency and pace variations is a commendable task and he’s happy to have such an asset in his side.
Jadeja in the first innings bagged five wickets and in the second scalped four, including the big wickets of David Warner, Steven Smith and Shaun Marsh.
“Jadeja’s bowling was outstanding. Everyone bowled well but for me he was outstanding. Looking at his economy rate in the second innings on this wicket, he bowled quite well and it was a high class stuff from him in the game.”
The captain, however, complimented Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb for their gritty approach which actually helped Australia draw the match and keep them alive in the series. Given Australia’s overnight score of 23 for two, India fancied their chances of going two-one up in the series but felt the batting pair applied themselves better on day five to put all their (India’s) hopes to rest.
To start with, he said the pitch was fine throughout five days, but it was hard for them to ball well and keep taking wickets in Australia’s first innings. He also shed some praise on his batters, Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha, who dragged India out of little trouble with their marathon knocks of 202 and 117 in the first innings respectively. Riding on their tons, India had Australia ticking for opportunities for nearly two days and later did not give themselves any chance to bat again in the match.
Virat also said, looking at Australia’s approach of playing for the draw gave him satisfaction about his side’s dominant show with the bat.
“Conditions in first innings wasn’t that easy for bowlers as pitch was good. In second innings also, they batted well so that’s why the match was drawn. But, from where we were in the first innings (320/6) and from there to reach 603 was surely a tough ask. From there we did put ourselves in a winning position as we didn’t even bat in the second innings. Also, the score was enough to make Australia play for the draw and not anything in the end. But then when you are facing the number two side in the world you expect them to come hard and show fight and not fall down so easily.”
India were in a win-win situation last night with Australia trailing behind 129 runs with eight wickets remaining, but the outcome wasn’t the desired one for the hosts. Talking about the factors involved in the change of expected result, Kohli pin-pointed hardness of the ball to be the evil friend. He said during last night’s seven overs ball did turn huge from the turf because it was hard but didn’t bother much when softness of the ball took over.
“We were not disappointed with the wicket. The other night ball was turning a lot from the turf and evening in morning’s first session also, but as the game progressed the hardness went away and it became hard for bowlers to extract pace from the wicket. Though, I am not taking any credit from their batsmen but I feel it was the hardness of the ball which made could be termed as the changing factor for us.”
Also, during the conference, the captain was made to talk about the celebration of his side after Warner’s dismissal and he had a strange answer, to sum-up things.
“These things happen on the field. Few of them started taking Pattrick’s name, as he is our physio, and his job is to treat us, and I didn’t find any reason behind them saying so and I couldn’t understand. I have no idea why did they do that.”
India and Australia now have one game in their kitty with just one to go in Dharamsala, which is likely to decide the fate of the series. The fourth and final match will begin on Saturday (March 25).