CRICKET / Important to strike before the spinners take charge, says Bhuvneshwar

Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade who scored a crucial 62 on the first day of the second Test match against India here on Saturday, expressed disappointment about the way things fell apart in the final session for his team.

“It would have been nice to have scored a few more runs and for me and Michael Clarke to have batted right through till the close,” Wade remarked after the first day’s play.

“It is always great to bat with someone like Clarke, who is not only your captain but a very good player of spin. It did help me a lot during that century stand,” Wade said. ‘But it is disappointing that we did not kick on after that good partnership,” he added.

Defends sweep shot

The Aussie stumper justified the batsmen’s choice of the sweep stroke despite the dismissal of a couple of key players. “I think on a track which helps spin, the sweep is an important stroke. I would certainly play it if the conditions are right. I am pleased that my plans came off well against both pacers and spinners,” he said.

Referring to the Indian fast bowlers, Wade said they bowled well and even got a little reverse swing.

Was it a gamble when Australia declared at 237 for nine, with 15 minutes to go for close of play? “Yes, a bit of that certainly. We thought the hard ball could be helpful and a couple of wickets were on our target. Unfortunately, that did not happen,” he said.

“But even this modest total should be good if our bowlers can restrict India to around the same figure. Some breakthroughs tomorrow morning would help. Definitely, our spinners are going to play a big role at a later stage,” Wade explained.

About his injury, Wade said: “I just needed to check after I woke up — to make sure my eye didn’t close over. When I looked in the mirror I found that I could see properly. So I was good to play,” he remarked.

Special feeling

Mediumpacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who took a three-wicket haul, said that it was a special feeling to get the first Test wicket. “And it couldn’t get better than scalping David Warner. However all three wickets were very satisfying since Warner, Ed Cowan and Shane Watson have been scoring consistently for Australia,” he remarked.

“There was something in the pitch. All that we did was to bowl in the right areas and within the stumps. We knew that it was important to get a couple of wickets with the new ball before the spinners took charge,” Bhuvneshwar said.

Bhuvneshwar who is often seen chatting with Ishant Sharma said that he could always learn a few new things by talking to the senior fast bowler. “There was nothing specific, but his tips did help me as the wicket was a bit slow and the odd ball was keeping low,” Bhuvneshwar explained.

Did the declaration surprise the Indians?

‘Not really. Maybe, they thought the last wicket pair may not score that many runs. Yes, they must have hoped for an early breakthrough,” said the mediumpacer who was one of the key performers for India on the opening day.

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