Vastavam web: Their patchy performance has stuck out like a sore thumb during the first two Tests and India skipper Virat Kohli urged his batsmen to complement the superb effort of his bowling unit in the upcoming Boxing Day Test against Australia starting Wednesday. While Kohli gave a batting masterclass on a challenging track in Perth, Cheteshwar Pujara had played a decisive role in team’s win Adelaide but other batsmen have not contributed much unlike bowlers, who have picked 40 wickets in four innings.
“It is very important for batsmen to stand up, because as everyone can see, our bowling has been performing really well. Otherwise, the bowlers won’t be able to do anything with the totals that we have been compiling,” skipper Kohli said on the eve of the third Test. “The batsmen must step up collectively. I won’t say individually whether someone needs to do that or not, but as a batting unit, we have to definitely put up a better performance,” Kohli sent out a loud and clear message for his batting unit. The Indian captain made it clear that neither his team’s Adelaide victory nor the Perth defeat will have any bearing when Melbourne Test starts.
“As a team, I don’t think whether you are 2-0 up or 2-0 down or 1-1, what’s happened in the past has no significance at all to what’s going to happen in the next two Tests or what’s going to happen in the next Test which is quite immediate. “The key is to stay in the moment, stay in the present, understand and remember why you won the first Test, which was because of us being in the present moment,” the skipper reiterated what he has often stressed. “These things you need to figure out constantly – who is bowling well in a particular series and what your plans should be against him. He has definitely bowled very well from the opposition.”
What makes Lyon special is the fact that he plays most of his Test matches in Australia. “For a spinner to bowl so well in Australia is a huge thing. We are taking it as a challenge, and we definitely want to improve our play against him. We have put in the effort in practice, it now matters who we execute those on the field. “As I said, if there is a challenge coming your way, you try and counter it. That’s our effort – if we have been dismissed in a particular way, not repeat that mode of dismissal. As cricketers, that is all you can do,” he added. For Kohli, a pitch should have enough in it to keep the bowlers interested on all five days of a Test match.
“I think it should have enough for the bowlers to stay interested on all days of the Test match and hopefully, it’s a much more lively wicket than the last time we played here,” he opined. Kohli will be playing his second Boxing Day Test Down Under and seemed pretty excited about it. “It’s amazing (as an occasion). Obviously, day one is the most anticipated day and we are expecting a lot of people to come in, maybe 80,000-plus. So I have experienced that twice before.