Darren Lehmann Wary Of India’s Fightback In Remaining Tests
Australian coach Darren Lehmann has held his nerves back and said his side is not going too far with the famous win in Pune, and that he is aware of India making a strong statement in the upcoming matches. The visitors walloped India within three days of first Test by a margin of 333 runs.
With this, Australia ended their dry-run in sub-continent since 2011 and also registered their first win in India in 4502 days. The win also saw Steven Smith’s side handing Virat Kohli his first loss in 17 games as skipper at home.
Speaking after the big win, Lehmann said India is a quality rich side and their first loss in last 20 games is not going to affect their confidence.
“I think the way we played, we deserved to win by that much at the end. But they’re a quality side and the challenge for our group is to back that performance up in Bangalore. We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves. India are a quality side, especially at home I think that’s the first Test they’ve lost in 20 Test matches so they’ll come back pretty hard.”
Steve O’Keefe, India’s nemesis in Pune, racked 12 wickets in the match, six in both innings and Lehmann couldn’t hold himself from praising him. Much to everyone’s surprise, he wasn’t really picked to outshine his competitors in the first go but now since he has, he’s going to keep India on back-foot in the coming matches.
Tagging his spell as brilliant, former Australian all-rounder said he hasn’t seen such eyebrow-raising stuff since Mitchell Johnson’s memorable outing against England in Adelaide in 2013/14 Ashes.
“An exceptional spell – I haven’t seen that since Mitchell Johnson in the Ashes with England in Adelaide when he tore them apart. We took 7 for 11 and that obviously turned the game. Twelve-for, 6 for 35 in both innings is pretty special. You always hope don’t you, as a player.”
Reserving some words of appreciation for Steven Smith, Lehmann said the captain led from the front and marshaled Australia to safe position to win the match. Admitting to have not seen a better innings than this from Smith’s willow, he was as determined as anyone in the game and that only helped him heave runs under pressure.
“I think it’s probably his best, especially in those conditions. I haven’t seen him so determined. He’s always determined – he’s captain of our country and plays really well obviously, but he knows conditions on that wicket. To make a hundred was very special, so that’d have to be in his top few for sure.”
Australia are 1-0 up in the four-match series with the second Test scheduled to start on March 4 in Bengaluru.
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