Adelaide, Dec 8 (IANS) Calling Cheteshwar Pujara’s first innings hundred as a “blueprint” for this pitch, Australia batsman Travis Head on Saturday said there is a lot to learn from him in terms of application.
“The way Pujara played in the first innings was the blueprint for this wicket,” Head told reporters at the end of Day 3 of the first rubber here.
Head top scored with a 167-ball 72 to help Australia post 235 on the third day in reply to India’s 250 in the first essay at the Adelaide Oval here.
Pujara had produced a superb 123 on the opening day to steady India’s ship and hold one end up.
“He had a really good leaving game, good forward defence, and as the ball got softer, he got more runs. Knowing how hard the wicket can be with the ball moving and the new ball, he played really well.”
Head said he was gutted after getting out on 72 off Mohammed Shami just when his stand with Nathan Lyon was blossoming.
“It is disappointing to feel the momentum swing back. I wanted to continue and felt if we could keep doing it for a period of time we could put them under pressure and keep them out there,” he said.
Keeping in mind the pitch which is spin friendly, Head said off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will find it helpful in the fourth innings.
“I just tried to stay busy against Ashwin. I was really positive against the off spinner, watching the ball and not premeditating.
“It’s going to be the same in the next innings. There’s not much rough for the left-handers but this wicket always spins with the grass coverage,” he said.
India finished day three at 151/3, taking an overall lead of 166 runs.
Asked about the total Australia are expecting, Head said he is confident of chasing down a 300-plus total.
“This year bigger scores have been made and teams have batted out draws,” he said.
“On days four and five, it gets easier to bat and 300-plus totals have been scaled easily (in domestic cricket).”
“It’s more of a new ball wicket at the moment. It’s vital to win those moments when the new ball comes around again,” he added.