Team India are just 2 wickets away from winning the Melbourne Test and getting the lead in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by 2-1, as Pat Cummins' unbeaten knock of 60 has been the highlight of the Australian innings so far.
In an exclusive Q & A session with former cricketer turned expert – Aakash Chopra, Sports Flashes enquired about team India’s inability to wrap up the tail, Australia’s batting attack and much more.
Q) Has cleaning up the tale become an art for team India in modern day cricket?
Aakash Chopra - “It has become difficult for us, but we have to understand that that the responsibility of cleaning up the tail was taken by Ashwin and Jadeja back home in India. So it becomes a problem for the pacers when they go overseas, as they’re not much used to taking the final few wickets, and yes it has become an art, so they have to know how to master that craft in the time to come.”
“But we have to also bring to our notice that all tails have started to wag in world cricket, talking about Pat Cummins - he’s currently batting better than Mitch Marsh. Mitchell Starc has the highest score of 99, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood know how to do a decent job too.
Q) Why couldn’t Australia’s frontline batsmen apply themselves to the wicket just as Pat Cummins did?
Aakash Chopra - “There is a lack of skill and it’s quite evident with their dismissals. There is a big technique and temperament problem which is something that can’t be bought from the market. The deficiencies are leaving a big hole and Australian cricket is going through troublesome period, since they’re not able to find the ideal replacements in the domestic circuit as well.”
Q) Why has the wicket not been a subject of much variable bounce on the fourth day of the Test?
Aakash Chopra - “There hasn’t been much variable bounce throughout the Test. The Australian bowlers got the advantage from the wicket due to their height. The wicket has been pretty consistent and it’s been a good batting track from what I’ve seen.”
Q)Why was Jasprit Bumrah not handed the ball in the final few overs?
Aakash Chopra - “The second new ball was given to Bumrah for a few overs, but prior to that Jasprit Bumrah did bowl quite a few bouncers to Pat Cummins, which may have possibly taken the toll on him. But if we talk about Virat’s captaincy through the test, then he has been top notch, be it through his field placements or with his bowling changes.”
Q) Did Virat Kohli miss a trick by not enforcing the follow-on?
Aakash Chopra - “ Enforcing the follow on could have been given a thought, but the reason why India decided to make Australia bat last was due to the reason that it becomes difficult for the batsmen to add on the runs a Day 4 or 5 wicket. There were indications of rain today as well but unfortunately for Australia it wasn’t to be, there are predictions for it for tomorrow too, but India just need an hour or two to win the Test, so the ball is in India’s court as of now.”
About the Author
Comes from the United Arab Emirates, is a sports junkie and a journalist, who has been following cricket as well as football since childhood. Played cricket in academies, school, and university levels. A fanatic follower of one of Europe's biggest ever football clubs - Manchester United.