india vs australia
Pujara surprised me by religiously adhering to ‘bat long and bat slow’ approach, reveals Pat Cummins
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Pat Cummins revealed that he expected Cheteshwar Pujara to unsettle the bowlers by scoring a bit more quickly but admitted that he was surprised by how religiously the right-hander stuck to his approach. Cummins added that, for a bowler, there are pros and cons in bowling to a defensive player.After he scored three tons and served as a literal wall in the 2018/19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Australia, in the initial part of the 2020/21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, found a way to keep Cheteshwar Pujara ‘quiet’ but though the runs dried, they were not able to stop him from spending time at the crease and tiring the bowlers.Pujara batted at a snail-like pace everytime he strode out to bat, and his approach in the first innings of the Sydney Test, in particular, came under fire from fans and experts, who believed the right-hander was digging a grave by not upping the scoring rate. Yet unphased by the criticism, Pujara, remarkably, batted at an even slower pace as the series progressed, eventually finishing with a SR of 29.20, by some distance the slowest amongst all specialist batters in the series.Through the approach, Pujara sucked the energy out of the Australian seamers and none knows it better than Pat Cummins, who toiled harder than any other bowler in the series. Reflecting on the 2020/21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Cummins revealed that he and the other Australian bowlers expected Pujara to try and put pressure on them by taking risks, but admitted that they were outwitted by the patience of the Saurashtra man.“It's interesting. After the first two games, in some ways, I thought he might have had to adapt to try to take the game on a little bit more and put pressure back on the bowlers. But if anything, he went the other way. He went, "No, I know my game so well, I'm going to just bat and bat and scoring will take care of itself" - whether it's down the other end or later in his innings,” Cummins told ESPN Cricinfo.“Maybe we set some tighter fields than we did a couple of years ago, but I felt like a lot of the time he was there just to face out the tough spells, bat and bat and bat, and in some ways selflessly take some overs out of the bowlers and the ball, with the hope that the lower middle order can cash in even if he doesn't.”Why Pujara’s approach irked many was because they felt the No.3 batsman, by adhering to a full-on defensive approach, was letting the bowlers grow in confidence by allowing them to bowl where they want. Cummins revealed that bowling to a batsman like Pujara is a double-edged sword - you have a bigger margin for error but, at the same time, you could end up bowling a day full of overs without any rewards.“I'd say in some ways it's true. With someone who doesn't look to take the game on, you feel like you can experiment a little bit more, maybe be a little more aggressive in bowling a touch fuller, try to swing the ball, play around with your crease position, knowing that if you're slightly off you're not going to get belted for four like you might against another batsman. “But on the flip side, if the batter's good enough to get through that and they can bat and bat, well it doesn't really matter what you bowl at them, you're going to have to bowl lots of overs. It really comes down to the fact that if he doesn't bat lots of time you feel great and love bowling to him. If he does, you go, okay, well, his method is obviously working.”Pujara scored 271 runs in the series, but none were more impressive than the 56 he accumulated in the final day of the Brisbane Test, where he refused to get out despite copping blows left, right and center. Cummins, who put in a shift and a half on that final day, revealed that he and his teammates expected Pujara to err after getting hit, but admitted that the resilience and the concentration powers of Pujara took them aback.“I'm not sure you change how you bowl, but it's incredibly rare that someone gets hit on his body and wears so many bruises without trying something. You hope if you keep doing that, maybe they're going to try to put their gloves up and you're going to get a catch that way, but he really stuck to his processes. It makes it hard if you know that short ball is there either to catch the gloves or to get them trying to hook. “You feel like you're getting closer to a wicket each time they cop a bruise, and like they're going to have to change their game and start fending or take the game on a bit more. So for someone to stay with their process the whole time, it does take the sting out of that short ball a bit.”One of Pujara’s biggest strengths is his soft hands, which helps him evade nicking the ball to the slip cordon, and the 32-year-old frustrated the Aussies throughout the course of the series by making the ball drop short of the slip cordon. Cummins claimed that Pujara has ‘pillow-like’ soft-hands and insisted that nicks from his bat falling short of the slip cordon is generally down to skill and not luck.“Oh absolutely, it's like a pillow. In the first innings at the Gabba, my first ball to him was a genuine nick. The ball before, I'd nicked off Shubman Gill and it was caught by Smithy above his head, and then the next ball bounced in front of Smithy. Just soft hands, plays it incredibly late, you can see why someone like that is so hard to dislodge, because there aren't edges flying to the slip cordon. He tries to put all the odds in his favour. “I think we've played long enough to know it's more skill than luck. But it does make you change, the slips do have to come forward a couple of steps because you aren't going to get those hard hands [where the ball flies] off the bat. It can be frustrating sometimes when you've got a brand new ball and it's still not carrying.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Justin has done a terrific job over the last couple of years, claims Steve Smith
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Steve Smith has backed an underfire Justin Langer and stated that the Australian coach always pushes the players to get the best out of them which has worked wonders in the last couple of years. Recently, there were reports that few Australian players were not happy about Langer's intense approach.After Australia suffer a shambolic 2-1 loss to a depleted Indian side, the dressing room was not a happy place to be. Anyone with the slightest understanding of Justin Langer's managerial style, it was a confirmed notion that he was really grumpy which came through a report on the Sydney Morning Herald. The publication reported that a few players were not happy with Langer's intense approach and repeated intervention during the game, which Langer denied first.However, he has got the support of Tim Paine first and now Steve Smith who stated that Langer has his full-backing especially after what he has done over the last few years. Smith further stated that Langer always wants the best from his Australian cricketers."I think even if you speak to Justin, you want to be improving all the time as a coach or as a player, so of course there are things you can always get better at," Smith said in an online press conference."One thing that hasn't been spoken a lot about is how tough a job it is to coach an international team, particularly in the circumstances we've been in when we've been in bubbles for long periods of time."But Justin's always working hard, trying to improve and get better and we've had conversations over the last two weeks since we've finished and he's always trying to get better and better and that's all you can ask from your coach."Smith has been the fulcrum of the Test side for over half a decade now and one of the major reasons behind the same is his own unique approach and technique. With a homegrown technique, he has conquered the world and he admitted that Langer has given him a free hand to experiment."Justin's actually said about me before he doesn't try and coach me too much. Only every now and again he'll say something particularly about the energy in my legs and tell me to have a bit more energy and that helps me move my feet a bit better and get going. He kind of just lets me go about my business and do what I need to do."But he's great around the group, he's always improving and wants to get better and wants the feedback from the players, and I think that's really important as a coach. And sometimes it can be difficult to get that feedback. You always want to get better, you always want to learn on the job and I think he does that as well as anyone," he added.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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I was extremely anxious before the Melbourne Test, admits Virat Kohli
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Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who headed back home to India post the Adelaide debacle, conceded that he was ‘extremely anxious’ prior to the second Test, but revealed that he was delighted by the fight shown by the boys. Kohli further expressed delight over live crowds returning to Indian grounds. India were staring down the barrel after stooping to an all-time low in Adelaide, getting bowled out for their lowest ever Test total, but things were expected to worsen post the departure of their skipper. Virat Kohli left Australia post the first Test to attend the birth of his first child, and a leader-less, wounded Indian side were expected to be rolled over by the mighty Aussies.What unfolded, however, was the polar opposite of the expected outcome as after outplaying Australia in Melbourne to level the series, India, through sheer mental strength, got the better of the hosts in the final to Tests to take the series 2-1.  Kohli, from India, watched the final three Tests through television with his hands tied, and the Indian skipper admitted that he was extremely nervous and anxious prior to the commencement of the Boxing Day encounter.“I’ll be very honest, before the Melbourne Test I was a bit anxious. But the way the whole team played in Melbourne, I was cheering every ball and jumping up and down on the couch every now and then as well,” Kohli said in a video posted by Bcci.tv. More than the fact that India beat Australia 2-1, it was how they achieved the victory which made the story remarkable. By the time the final Test beckoned, India had lost more than half their side to injury and they pretty much breached fortress Gabba with a bunch of net bowlers. Taking the context of the victory into account, Kohli described the heist Down Under as the ‘most special’ series win.“I think if you put things into perspective in terms of the experience in the squad and how much cricket our boys had played, particularly against an opposition that had played way more, the odds were stacked up against us after Adelaide. The kind of character and belief shown by the whole squad - I don’t think any victory has been more special than this.”The England Tests, which kick-started today, marked the return of international cricket to India after one long year and more good news will be coming the country’s way in a week’s time as live crowds will return to stadiums from the second Test in Chennai. Kohli reckoned the Indian government and BCCI have done a great job in restarting the sport and further expressed excitement over the return of live crowds.“India was probably the only country left to host international cricket; it was just a matter of time. Things have been brought under control to a large extent; great work has been done. Now when we go to the practice sessions in our bubble here in India, we feel safe. We feel no uncertainty at all."“Things are moving along nicely. Hopefully there will be a few spectators in the coming games as well. It will be a great thing for the country, for the cricket fans and for us the players as well.“Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Both Ajju bhai and the team management completely backed me in Australia, reveals Kuldeep Yadav
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Kuldeep Yadav has stated that Ajinkya Rahane and Ravi Shastri were really helpful and clear in their communication in Australia and stated that it was difficult for them not to pick him. Kuldeep further rued the fact that he couldn't bowl much in the 2020 IPL which took a toll on his performance.Despite the presence of Kuldeep Yadav in the squad, the Indian team management preferred Washington Sundar who had last played a first-class game three years before the Test. It was quite a gamble but it paid off massively as Washington gave that impetus with the bat to help India to a historic series win in Australia. Kuldeep, who took a fifer on his last ever Test match over two years ago, must have reasons to feel disheartened but as revealed by the wrist-spinner himself, the skipper and the team management backed him to the tilt and were clear in their communication."It is very important when your captain sees you work hard. It was very difficult for [Rahane] as well as the team management [to leave me out of the side during the Australia Test series]. But there was no difference in my process and my work. I believed in both. I felt really good about the words he [Rahane] said because if your captain is backing you and appreciating you [when you are not in the side], it counts a lot and motivates you very much," Kuldeep told ESPN Cricinfo."Both Ajju bhai and the team management completely backed me and I never felt I was sitting out. From the support staff to Ravi bhai [Shastri] to the captain, all kept a close watch on me. When you are not playing it is not easy for the team management to focus on the player who is sitting out [but they did it]," he added.Kuldeep had two difficult seasons of IPL, where he lost out on a regular spot in the Kolkata Knight Riders' side, and that has had a ripple effect on his performance for the Indian team. The left-arm unorthodox spinner further stated that it was a low point of his career but added that one can't really learn if they don't fail."Personally, I felt the 2020 IPL did not got well for me. I should have played more matches [for the Kolkata Knight Riders]. I felt I was in pretty good rhythm, I was bowling well, but just that I did not get many overs. So, perhaps, if I got more opportunities then it would have been good. I am not saying that was the lowest, to be honest."Even in 2019. I did not have a good IPL. Until you fail, you can't handle the pressure. Now I feel I understand things better - I have seen failure in my life now, so even if I don't perform, it will not be new. In cricket you can't perform at all times, but if you carry on doing the hard work, you create better chances to become successful."Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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