Former Australian coach Darren Lehmann has opined India can still stage a comeback in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as they have some quality players. He was quick to add that it might be tough for them to do so.
Lehmann made this observation during a discussion about the ongoing India-Australia Test series on SA Sportsday.
While acknowledging that it might be a tall ask for India now, Darren Lehmann pointed out the visitors can still gather momentum as they have some class players in their lineup.
"It will be hard now for them, but they’ve actually got some quality players if they can get on a roll."
The former middle-order batsman highlighted India has a potent bowling attack and can bounce back if their batsmen can counter the bouncy Australian tracks. He added the Melbourne pitch might help the Indians as it tends to be batting-friendly.
"They can certainly cause some trouble with the ball, it’s just whether the batsmen can cope with the bounce. The MCG pitch will suit them a bit better because it’s a bit flatter."
Darren Lehmann observed it will be crucial for India to post a good total in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test to put to bed the demons of Adelaide.
"So we’ll see if their batsmen can bounce back and make some runs, especially in the first innings. That’s going to be the key for them."
India will certainly be on the back foot. They will not have the services of Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami for the rest of the series, and are fresh off their disastrous performance with the bat at Adelaide. The visitors will have to stage a quick turnaround and regain momentum to avoid being blown away in the series.
Darren Lehmann hopes Joe Burns can consolidate his place as the Australian Test opener
Talking about Joe Burns, Darren Lehmann observed his retention as an opener was a close call, especially if Will Pucovski had been fit.
"It was a little bit touch and go that decision. It would have been interesting if Pucovski was fit and ready to go or a few others."
The southpaw added the Australian selectors might have persisted with Burns in any case for the Adelaide Test as he has formed a formidable partnership with David Warner at the top of the order.
"I think they were always going to stay with Joe because the Warner-Burns partnership has been very good over a number of years, so I think you have to stick with that to start with."
Darren Lehmann signed off by hoping Joe Burns gets a boost from his Adelaide knock and carries the momentum into the forthcoming Tests.
"He’s come through the other side, he’s still worked really hard for his fifty and you hope that he gets through that and kicks on now in the next Test match."
Joe Burns' unbeaten 51-run knock was his first half-century in 11 innings. The right-handed opener had a top score of 29 in this time frame and had reached double figures on only three occasions.
Published 23 Dec 2020, 09:46 IST