Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has accepted that the visitors' lower-order has failed to add important runs in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy. In each of the three Tests, Team India's tail has failed to bat long and that has cost them some crucial runs down the order.
On day three of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), the visitors lost their last six wickets for just 49 runs and were bundled out for 244, handing the Aussies a crucial 94-run lead.
There was some careless running between the wickets that led to three run-outs. The lower-order also did not show any determination to stick around in the middle and help the likes of Ravindra Jadeja reduce the first-innings deficit.
While the Australian tail's crucial runs down the order made all the difference in their emphatic win at the Adelaide Oval, Team India's lower-order have failed to replicate the same kind of consistency.
In a video conference after the end of the day's play, Cheteshwar Pujara explained the impact of the lower-order's batting failure on their chances of winning Test matches. He agreed that while it is a concern, the bowlers are also trying their best to improve their batting ability.
"I would say that when we are playing overseas, it's never easy, some of the guys are still learning. We have to bat well as a lower-order, we just have to accept this, it is something which we need to address, we have also spoken about it," Cheteshwar Pujara said.
"I feel a major concern is we are losing too many wickets when we are six down, the lower-middle order has to bat well, Bumrah has improved his batting, and our bowlers are working on their batting. The margin of error is less as a batsman, you need to also give credit to the bowlers," Cheteshwar Pujara further added.
It is not easy to bowl in Australia: Cheteshwar Pujara
After conceding a 94-run lead to the Aussies, the Indian bowlers had to come out all guns blazing to try and restrict the hosts to as low a score as possible.
Although the Men in Blue managed to pick up a couple of early wickets, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne have proved to be Team India's nemesis yet again.
The duo not only nullified the effect of the new ball, but also scored at a brisk pace. Knowing that Australia's lower middle-order has looked brittle so far in the series, both Smith and Labuschagne took the responsibility of seeing off the early burst from the Indian quicks.
Cheteshwar Pujara believes it is a learning process and these bowlers will only get better with every tough lesson they learn.
"Our bowlers are learning, if you look at our current fast-bowling lineup, they are slightly inexperienced. But I think day by day, they will get better. It is an opportunity for them to learn. It is Siraj's second game and Saini's first game, they are bound to make mistakes," Cheteshwar Pujara explained.
"We have to allow them some time to settle in, it's not easy to bowl in Australia, our bowlers have to learn few more things, some of the things could have been done better, we need to show better discipline in our bowling, we are doing the things which we can," Cheteshwar Pujara concluded.
Having a 197-run lead already, the hosts have a strangle hold over the Indians in this Test match. While both Smith and Labuschagne will be looking to take the game away from the visitors, Team India will be eyeing quick wickets on day four.
India's batting, on the other hand, will need to show significant improvement from their first innings performance. Else, we might be in for an early finish at the SCG.Published 09 Jan 2021, 16:04 IST