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Aussies batted longer because they were not comfortable in giving India a par target: Pragyan Ojha

Nathan Lyon, Tim Paine and Pat Cummins at stumps on Day 4.
Nathan Lyon, Tim Paine and Pat Cummins at stumps on Day 4.
Modified 19 Jan 2021

Pragyan Ojha has opined that Australia batted all-out, instead of declaring, in the third innings because they weren't comfortable with a par target against the Indian lineup.

Pragyan Ojha suggests the Indian lower order's fightbacks in Sydney and Brisbane were the reason for Australia's assiduous attitude.

The average third innings total at the Gabba is 242, and the highest total ever chased here is 236, which came seven decades ago. However, even with rain forecasted for the last two days of the Test, the hosts played out their innings and set a target of 328 for the Indians.

In an interview with Sports Today, Pragyan Ojha was asked about Australia's prolonged batting. He suggested that India's remarkable draw in Sydney was still fresh in the Aussies' minds.

“[This question arises] because the way India batted, it’s because the lower order contributed in Sydney and in Brisbane. If you look at the winning score [on average] for the 4th innings is 250. But they [Australia] were not comfortable giving that number to the Indian team. It’s very simple. Because their best bowlers couldn’t bowl out our lower order [in Sydney]. That’s the reason they batted long."

In Sydney, India's fightback was led by Rishabh Pant, and the injured pair of Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari salvaged a draw when the match looked long gone.

Then in the first innings of the Brisbane Test, Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar stunned the Australians with a 123-run partnership and brought India back into the game.

Rain on Tuesday is all the luck India need in this series: Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha worried about the cracks in the fifth-day Gabba wicket. However, Pragyan Ojha added that as India has performed better than the hosts with limited resources, rain on Tuesday is some luck they deserve.

“It’s a lot of runs, the wicket is going to do its bit because of those cracks but, as everyone predicted, it started raining. If you look at both teams, India with limited resources has done much better than what Australia has done and that’s all the luck India needs."

In response to the Australian score, India went to stumps on Day 4 with four runs on board without losing a wicket. The riveting Border-Gavaskar Trophy is perfectly poised for an edge-of-the-seat denouement.

Published 19 Jan 2021, 02:08 IST
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