Darren Lehmann expects India to come back hard after Pune humiliation
What’s the story?
After drubbing the hosts by a massive margin of 333 runs, one of their biggest wins against India ever, Australian coach Darren Lehmann has conceded that Virat Kohli’s team is expected to come back really strong in the next Test at Bengaluru.
“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", Lehmann said after the Pune win.
In case you didn’t know…
Riding on Steve O’Keefe’s twelve-wicket haul, the tourists annihilated the Indian team in the opening Test of the four-match series. With scores of 105 and 107, the Indian batting could put up no fight to the sustained Australian attack, especially the spin combination of O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon.
Lehmann, a former all-rounder for Australia, who took over the coaching reins from Mickey Arthur in 2013, was part of the squad that last won a Test match in India (Nagpur, 2004).
The heart of the matter
While speaking about the crushing victory against India, their first win in the country since the 2004-05 series, Lehmann said that the way the team played, they deserved to win by the margin they did. Yet, he was quick to state that Team India, being a quality side, will be up for a challenge real quick, and the tourists will have to back their performance in the opening bout with a similar showing in Bengaluru.
He also heaped praise on O’Keefe’s spell, comparing it to Mitchell Johnson’s scorching patch of bowling against England in the Ashes in 2012-13. There was also words of admiration for Nathan Lyon, who played the supporting role to great effect.
Unbeaten for over a year in Tests, the Indian team will have to regroup quick and put up a much better showing in Bengaluru, the venue of the second Test that begins on March 4th, and the home ground for captain Kohli’s IPL franchise, RCB.
The astute reader of the game he is, Lehmann has been spot-on with his accurate analysis of the game, trying hard not to let complacency of any order to seep into his troops as they prepare for the next round. Although comebacks in a series after losing the opening Test are very difficult, Team India has done it in the past (Eden Gardens, 2001), and the current side, led by a captain who doesn’t give even an inch to the opposition, a strong reply is certainly on the cards.