Melbourne, Dec 28 (IANS) Australia pacer Pat Cummins asked his fellow teammates to bat like Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara after they were skittled out for a paltry 151 in the first innings of the third Test here.
“It was obviously not ideal. We turned up thinking of a good first innings score and be right in the game. We wanted to take this result away from them. This is a young batting group and they are working hard. They are trying their best, but it is just one of those things. Today it didn’t come off,” Cummins told reporters.
Pujara and Kohli had stitched together 170 runs to propel India to 443/7 declared.
“What we saw from India’s first innings, we saw temperament of Pujara and Virat and how they pace their innings. They absorb pressure because on this kind of wicket, it is hard to score runs.
“You have to face a lot of balls to get big scores and it is probably one of those wickets where you do the hard work early. Keep absorbing pressure and score later, but evidently it did not work for us today,” he added.
Cummins bowled a fiery spell of 4/10 to help the hosts reduce India to 54/5 in the second essay but they still trail the visitors by 346 runs after conceding a massive first innings lead of 292 runs.
“It’s always going to be hard missing two of your best players. We’ve known for nine months (that Steve Smith and David Warner won’t be available). Others have to stand up. It probably highlights the class they’ve had in previous years but we’ve got to find a way,” Cummins said.
“Everyone here is good enough. They’ve done it at the level below, all of them are the best (Sheffield) Shield players and most of them have done it for Australia before. Wicket feels pretty good still, so everyone feels like in the second innings they can face more balls and get going,” he added.
Cummins said they wanted to make things tough for India in the second dig.
“I am pretty tired, exhausted but the good thing is that coming into this series I felt really fresh. Hopefully, there won’t be too many overs tomorrow and we won’t have to bowl last in this game. So hopefully there will be a 4-5 day break before Sydney,” Cummins said.
“If we knock them over in the morning, you just never know. We tried to make it very hard for every run. The wicket is still pretty good, tough to score runs. But we saw last year we batted really well on day four and five (at the MCG), you dare to dream.
“But it’s still a long way left in the game. For India to move the game forward will be hard tomorrow. They will have to bat long and we will just take it as deep as possible,” he added.