Brisbane: The Australians, after the third day’s play during their third Test against India at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), were thrilled at having ensured that the visiting bowlers would bowl on all four days of the match and get very little time to recover for the fourth and final Test.
With the gap between the third and the fourth Tests being just three days, it was always going to be tough for the Indians to recover and the fact that they did not name the playing XI on the eve of the fourth Test unlike during the first three Tests, it was clear that staying on the field for four days has taken toll on the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and R Ashwin with both having been unfit and undergoing scans.
One of the reasons behind India’s success on the last tour in 2018-19 was that they managed to keep the Aussies on the field for a long enough period in the Melbourne Test. India kept the hosts for close to 170 overs on the field in first innings while making 443/7 and declaring. They ensured that the Aussies bowled on all four days.
Australia had just three days to recover before the Sydney Test two years ago and they wilted as India batted first and hammered 622/7 against tired legs.
Prior to the ongoing Test series, Josh Hazlewood had said that they would do the same to the Indians this time. Unfortunately for them, their batting didn’t come good in the first two Tests and they couldn’t keep the Indians on the field for long.
But they did manage to stretch the Indians in the third Test match while also giving themselves enough time to win the Test.
However, the Indians held on, forcing the Australians to bowl 131 overs. It meant that while they found themselves get stretched, they also exhausted the Australian bowlers who have just three days to recover their bodies.
The problem faced by the Aussie bowlers was not lost on the skipper Tim Paine.
The Baggy Greens captain conceded that though the turnaround period has been short and challenging. But he felt that the players are professionals and good at doing that.
“We tried to rejuvenate all three of our fast bowlers last week. It was a big Day 5 for them, big week and short turnaround. Those guys are very good at doing that. They are professionals. The reason why they are great cricketers is because they are extremely durable. They are about to play their fourth Test back to back,” said Paine.
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