While securing a draw at Ranchi as Australian batsmen put on a great effort to save a Test match on the Indian soil, the hosts’ skipper Steven Smith expressed satisfaction over the result before stating the advantage is with them after the remarkable performance from Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh, who both scored half-centuries to further thwart the threat of Indian slow bowlers.
“I am really proud. The boys really dug deep. Massive game to come in Dharamsala, can’t wait to get there. If there is such a thing as momentum in cricket I think it’s with us now,” Smith said during the post-match press conference at Ranchi.
After the game was dragged into the final hour, the 28-year-old right-handed batsman Smith revealed the hosts were trying hard to bowl them out as gritty with the bat Handscomb batted for 261 minutes to score unbeaten 72 off 200 balls.
Smith has praised the teammates while stating they had delivered well to make contest exciting while terming it as ‘nervous’.
“India would have expected to bowl us out. It was nervous and a pretty good test. I am very proud of the way the boys stuck it out. That’s what we want to be,” Smith remarked.
Smith, who was left bemused after leaving Ravindra Jadeja’s straighter delivery which saw his off-stump got uprooted when he was batting on 21 off 68 deliveries.
Smith also admitted they were few runs short of the first innings as 451 was not enough according to him.
“It was important to score big first-innings runs, we left ourselves a bit short there. 450 was not enough to win this match,” Smith revealed.
On Indian soil since 2010-11, Australia also became the first team to save a Test match.
“Maxwell was sensational. That’s the way we want him to play,” Smith said on Glenn Maxwell.
Smith has also praised their fast bowler, who had made a Test comeback after six years by saying Cummins had bowled well in his second Test while spending good enough time on the field.
“Pat Cummins, in his first game in a very long time, he bowled beautifully. Not too often you spend 210 overs in the field. It was a long two days,” Smith concluded.
On the other side, Marsh, who played a bold knock of 53 off 197 balls, said their prime focus was to play the ball.
“You try not to think about it too much, you play the ball,” Marsh said of the rough, the left-handed batsman Marsh was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
However, the series remain level at 1-1 and the final Test of the Border-Gavaskar series is scheduled from March 24 in Dharamsala. It’s expected to be a great encounter between both the top two teams in Tests.