We’re right in this

Sunday Herald Sun - - Cricket - RICHARD EARLE ADE­LAIDE

TRAVIS Head has backed Aus­tralia to shut down In­dia with the sec­ond new ball and chase any to­tal In­dia musters as a first Test dog­fight reaches a crescendo.

Head said the fourth morn­ing at Ade­laide Oval could de­cide the se­ries opener.

Nathan Lyon’s late surge to claim skip­per Vi­rat Kohli (34) meant the vis­i­tors (3-151) lead by 166 runs with Chetesh­war Pu­jara un­de­feated on 40 and Ajinkya Ra­hane on one.

“I think it is evenly poised and there was a nice lit­tle wicket there at the end. It makes for an­other big hour like it was on (Satur­day) morn­ing lead­ing in to the new ball, if we can get a few wick­ets, put them un­der pres­sure,” Head said.

“I thought the bowlers did a won­der­ful job to con­tain and con­tinue to put pres­sure on for the whole in­nings. If we con­tinue to bowl the way we did the re­ward will come.”

Lyon was on the wrong end of two DRS ver­dicts that kept Pu­jara’s in­nings alive but was in “ex­cep­tional” touch, Head in­sisted.

“I am sure ‘Gaz’ can break that part­ner­ship in the morn­ing. All four of the bowlers have done a won­der­ful job,” Head said.

Lyon probed re­lent­lessly dur­ing 18 un­changed overs.

Kohli’s wicket was due re­ward, but there could have eas­ily been many more.

“I felt like I was go­ing to get him (Kohli) at bat pad or bowled through the gate,” said Lyon, who has dis­missed Kohli five times, more than any­one.

“It was one of those days when I felt I bowled re­ally well and could have come away with six or seven wick­ets.”

Cu­ra­tor Damian Hough’s drop-in pitch will not break up and is likely to be eas­ier to bat on as the game pro­gresses — giv­ing Aus­tralia a shot of a suc­cess­ful chase.

“This year (in Sh­effield Shield) big­ger scores have been made and teams bat­ted out draws so I think if we can get wick­ets with the new ball and put them un­der pres­sure, any­thing is get­table,” Head said.

“If we can re­strict them, WA chased 313 a cou­ple of weeks ago and Shaun (Marsh) got 163 not out. On day four and five it be­comes eas­ier to bat and we are happy to chase any­thing. The less the bet­ter.”

Head (72, 167 balls) was dev­as­tated not to post a maiden ton at his home venue, out to a Mo­hammed Shami corker in a rain-af­fected first ses­sion.

“It was nice to con­trib­ute, I guess. It was tough on Fri­day night, dis­ap­point­ing not to stick around with ‘Lyno’ (24no), he was hang­ing tough,” Head said. “It was dis­ap­point­ing to feel the mo­men­tum swing back.”

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