Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said he was a “bit disappointed” with how the hosts performed on day three of the fourth Test against India, saying that they allowed visitors’ batsmen to be “way too comfortable at the crease”. The record-breaking partnership between Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar pulled India back in the contest on day three of the fourth Test against Australia at The Gabba on Sunday.
“I was a bit disappointed with the way the Australians went about it, to be honest. I don’t think they were aggressive enough, didn’t bowl enough short balls. They let the Indian batsmen be way too comfortable at the crease,” cricket.com.au quoted Ponting as saying.
“They almost bowled the way those batsmen would have wanted them to bowl. It wasn’t until we saw a bit of a barrage from Starc and even when Shardul got out (bowled by Pat Cummins), it was no surprise it was a ball after a bouncer. I don’t think the Aussies were anywhere near aggressive enough,” he added.
India were bundled out for 336, falling 33 runs short of the hosts’ first-innings total. Thakur top-scored for India as he made 67 runs while Sundar made 62 runs.
Thakur and Sundar’s 123-run resilient partnership enabled visitors go past 300-run mark after losing six wickets for 186 runs in the first innings. The duo also registered the highest seventh-wicket partnership for India at The Gabba, Brisbane. Thakur and Sundar broke Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar’s 58-run partnership record for the seventh-wicket set in 1991.
Praising that partnership, Ponting said: “The batsmanship has been a real standout and their application and concentration. They didn’t throw it away. Shardul at the end went for a shot that probably wasn’t quite on but before that, there weren’t many false shots at all played by either of them.”
“That’s why I thought the Aussie quicks had to be more aggressive because the more aggressive you are to less-skilled tail-end batsmen the more likely you are to bring out a poor shot in them. But the partnership was outstanding, exactly what India needed at the time which is what they’ve been able to produce in a few Test matches. Especially after Adelaide, they’ve been able to produce what they’ve needed to in big moments from there on in,” he added.
At stumps, Australia were at 21/0 in their second innings, leading India by 54 runs. David Warner was not out on 20 runs while Marcus Harris was unbeaten on one run.
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