Xavier Doherty hardly troubled the Indian batsmen but Australian coach Mickey Arthur defended left-arm spinner’s inclusion in the side, saying he was the best choice keeping in mind the way hosts handle the off-spin.
Doherty, who came into the side at the expense of off-spinner Nathan Lyon, gave away 85 runs in 26 wicket-less overs and never looked like getting a wicket.
“Primarily, we wanted a left-arm spinner. We looked at Chennai and thought that the Indian middle-order played the off-spin particularly well. We wanted somebody who could turn it away as our primary resource, which gave Xavier an opportunity,” Arthur argued as the Australian media hounded him with queries.
“I thought he (Doherty) went very well today. He toiled manfully. He went about three an over which was pretty decent,” he added.
Although Arthur had words for praise for the axed Lyon, but he denied that this decision will dent the offie’s confidence.
“Not at all,” he said adding, “Nathan and I have spoken at length about the summer he’s had and we’ve given him 19 consecutive Test matches. (Dropping him) It doesn’t mean we don’t back him any more. We just think it was the right time after Chennai, just to give him a little bit of a break. He had a couple of technical things that we wanted to work on a little bit away from the game.”
The Indians batted with ease today on the same strip where Aussies found it difficult to encounter the Indian slow bowlers.
“It’s interesting. It was almost a little bit like Chennai. Once you got a partnership going, it looked pretty comfortable to bat. We got a partnership yesterday and suddenly all the demons that were supposedly there went away.
“But it is still a pitch, where you can lose wickets in clusters. It always is in India. If you can get one, you can get two or three pretty quickly, because it’s a tough place to start. We saw that yesterday when we lost Matthew Wade and we’re hoping we see a bit of that tomorrow.”