Lehmann exhorts his wards to rise to the test

20-03-2017
DH

Australia team coach Darren Lehmann termed his team’s situation “tough” and exhorted his wards to rise up to the challenge as they battle to save the third Test. After taking a 152-run lead, India reduced the visitors to 23/2 on the fourth day here on Sunday.

“Obviously, we’ll have to save this game,” said Lehmann at the end of day’s play. “Tough to lose those two wickets tonight, some good balls from them but a good challenge for the group. What we’ve put in at practice, obviously we’ve got to do that tomorrow and deliver on the big stage. Once the ball gets a little bit softer it plays pretty well, so there’s no real demons in the track. It’s a case of us applying ourselves much like (Cheteshwar) Pujara and (Wriddhiman) Saha did today,” he reasoned.

Further dwelling on Pujara-Saha stand, Lehmann said it was right up there among the best. “They were 6/340 or something and to really take the game away from us… They just applied themselves well, played positively, putting away the bad balls. Once the ball lost its hardness it plays pretty well. The challenge for the group is to make the ball soft and play it from there,” he pointed out.

The rough on the off for left-handers while batting at the Pavilion End is going to be a concern as could be seen in Ravindra Jadeja’s dismissal of David Warner. “There will be (some concern) for left-handers, but (footmarks) are well out of the road. Obviously that was a great ball that got Warner in the end. That’s going to happen. If they bowl ten of those, then so be it. We’ve got to cope with it the best we can and come up with a plan. We’ve done a lot of practice on those sorts of conditions, so I’m really confident they can do the job tomorrow,” he offered.

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