KOHLI RUES SOFT BALL

Cap­tain says his spin­ners could not cope with it

New Straits Times - - Sport -

IN­DIA cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli said his spin­ners could have been more ef­fec­tive in the drawn third Test against Aus­tralia but for the soft­ness of the ball used in the con­test.

Hav­ing re­duced Aus­tralia to 63-4 in the fi­nal morn­ing af­ter tak­ing a 152-run first in­ning lead, In­dia looked in a great po­si­tion to reg­is­ter their se­cond suc­ces­sive vic­tory in the four-Test se­ries. But a wick­et­less af­ter­noon ses­sion scup­pered their hopes.

Peter Hand­scomb and Shaun Marsh col­lab­o­rated for al­most four hours to frus­trate the hosts with a dour fifth wicket stand of 124 runs.

Kohli reck­oned it could have been dif­fer­ent had the balls used in the match re­tained their hard­ness.

“I think the hard­ness of the ball was a big fac­tor,” the 28-year-old told re­porters at the Jhark­hand State Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion Sta­dium.

“When the ball was new last night, it spun well off the rough. Even this morn­ing, it was spin­ning well. But in the mid­dle ses­sion, the ball was not hard, so could not gen­er­ate that kind of pace from the wicket.”

Af­ter Kohli took the new ball, Ravin­dra Jadeja dis­missed Marsh for 53, while spin part­ner Ravichan­dran Ash­win sent back Glenn Maxwell but Aus­tralia had reached safety by then.

“On day five, wicket slows down any­way. We took the new ball and got a cou­ple of wick­ets. But the hard­ness of the ball in the mid­dle ses­sion was a fac­tor,” added Kohli.

His coun­ter­part Steve Smith was rather amused when asked about his opin­ion.

“I haven’t re­ally thought about it. We both use the same ball, you just got to do what you can with it,” he said.

Kohli dis­missed sug­ges­tion that he un­der­bowled off-spin­ner Ash­win, cur­rently the top ranked test bowler, while per­sist­ing with Jadeja, who claimed nine wick­ets in the match.

“The fast bowlers were more ef­fec­tive from the far end the spin­ners from the commentary end,” Kohli ex­plained.

“When­ever Jadeja came to bowl, he picked up a wicket or two ev­ery three-four overs. It was very dif­fi­cult to change him at that stage be­cause he was bowl­ing

I haven’t re­ally thought about it. We both use the same ball, you just got to do what you can with it.”

STEVE SMITH

Aus­tralia cap­tain

in good mo­men­tum. That was one of the fac­tors.”

Kohli said Jadeja’s se­cond in­nings fig­ures of 44-18-54-4 was the most eco­nom­i­cal he had seen and the left-arm spin­ner out­per­formed ev­ery­one on a pitch which did not of­fer much as­sis­tance to them.

“You can leave aside Jadeja, be­cause he re­ally stood apart among the bowlers. But I think gen­er­ally bowlers found it dif­fi­cult to make things hap­pen from the cen­tre of the wicket,” he said. Reuters

AP PIC

Vi­rat Kohli feels the re­sults of the match could have been dif­fer­ent had the balls used re­tained their hard­ness.

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