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Rohit sharma plays down impact of ball change

Updated on: 04 March,2023 09:01 AM IST  |  Indore
Santosh Suri |

They needed a few more quick wickets to put pressure on the opposition as the chances of them winning were quite slim

Rohit sharma plays down impact of ball change

Rohit Sharma

Frustration can get the better of any team when things are not going your way. And that’s what happened to India when they were unable to dislodge the Australian batsmen, defending just 75 on the third morning of the third Test. The Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja along with skipper Rohit Sharma kept complaining about the ball, and even after it was changed, they were not satisfied with it. But the umpires refused to budge.

After India got rid of Usman Khawaja on the second ball of the day, their hopes sky-rocketed. They needed a few more quick wickets to put pressure on the opposition as the chances of them winning were quite slim.

As Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne frustrated Ashwin and Jadeja, desperation started to creep into the Indian team. After the 10th over, Ashwin complained about the seam of the ball and though the ball was changed, the bowler and skipper were unhappy with the replaced ball. Apparently, the spinners were not able to get as much bite from the pitch, as Nathan Lyon had got the previous evening. There were numerous stoppages as the bowler and skipper kept on complaining about the ball.

New ball yields quick runs

The irony of it all was that with the first ball, the Australians had managed to score just 13 runs in the first 10 overs for the loss of Khawaja. But after the change of ball, runs began to come at a quicker rate and the Aussies chased down the total in 18.5 overs. It’s quite clear that the Indians were doing much better with the original ball.

Also read: Australia relying too much on Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschange, says Glenn McGrath

Rohit did admit that when things are not going your way, little things like the poor seam of the ball tend to matter. “We just thought the ball did not have a good seam and the umpires readily changed it. But we were not happy with the replaced ball. Had we taken two or three wickets with the changed ball, you would have seen the issue in a different light. But again, the ball did not matter. What mattered was that we did not put enough runs on the board in both innings and that was the main reason why we lost the game” 

India playing mind games?

Australian stand-in skipper Steven Smith said: “Apparently, the Indians were not happy with the seam of the ball. But that did not matter as we were focused on the job at hand. Maybe the Indians were trying to play mind games, but the way Travis and Marnus batted, it did not matter.”

‘Former players have not played on these pitches’

The surfaces in Nagpur and Delhi attracted attention, but the one in Indore copped the most flak. The ball was turning viciously in the first half hour and the uneven bounce made the task tougher for the batters. Dilip Vengsarkar, Matthew Hayden and Mark Waugh were among the former cricketers who thought the pitch was not good for Test cricket. For the third straight time, the match ended inside three days. “Former cricketers, I don’t think they played on pitches like these. So I don’t know honestly. Like I said, this is the kind of pitch we want to play on. This is our strength. So when you are playing at home, you always play to your strength and not worry about what people are talking about,” said skipper Rohit Sharma.

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