Jadeja keen to wrap things up quickly on day five
There may have been a few doubters sniggering at Moises Henriques’s inclusion in the Australian eleven before the start of this Test. But the all-rounder’s twin half-centuries on debut, while being thumping rejoinders, also assume greater significance because of his relative comfort against Indian spinners as opposed to most of his teammates.
His story bears a common strand to that of Faf du Plessis’s. The South African batsman’s selection to the Test side met with similar scepticism as well before he produced two superlative efforts on his debut to save the game against Australia in Adelaide last year.
“It’s been a fantastic experience. Representing Australia at the international level is amazing. To be on the same field with players like Sachin (Tendulkar), (Virender) Sehwag, (M.S.) Dhoni, Harbhajan (Singh), and Michael Clarke… you have to keep pinching yourself,” Henriques said of his Test debut, here on Monday.
His unbeaten 57-run partnership with Nathan Lyon for the last wicket on day four — that has taken the Test to the final day — put Australia ahead by 40 runs.
“We haven’t lost this Test yet. Certainly, there’s hope. It’s stacked against us, but you don’t know what will happen tomorrow (Tuesday).”
The 26-year-old said the wicket was tough to begin the innings on, particularly with the quality of spin at India’s disposal.
“The bounce was uneven and I had a couple of balls hitting my gloves early on. I was lucky they went straight to ground. The pitch was abrasive and misbehaved a bit. ”
Henriques, however, refused to bite the bait on whether the wicket wasn’t of international standards. “It’s terrific that as cricketers we play different nations and in different conditions. Otherwise, it’s a bit monotonous. This is very different to wickets in Australia. It’s great that cricket being such a world game is played in so many different conditions.”
While lauding Dhoni’s knock and the Indian slow bowlers’ performance, he claimed to not know if Australia would field two spinners for the second Test at Hyderabad.
“I spent most of the time on the field. It will be assessed at the end of this Test and it isn’t up to me.”
Later, Ravindra Jadeja spoke of finishing the game quickly on day five. “There’s turn in the wicket, but it turns too much at times. We need to bowl them out early and get the runs we’re set to win.”
He was also asked to compare the English and Australian style of batsmanship. “Australia has this ego… it tries to play more positively. If it has played out three or four maiden overs, it shows its aggression and doesn’t want to get bogged down.
“But we have played our roles well… Ashwin and Bhajju pa (Harbhajan) have bowled really well,” said the 24-year-old all-rounder.
Jadeja felt it was a good surface for Test cricket.
“You win Test matches only if you get 20 wickets. The centre of the wicket isn’t affected, so it’s still good for pacers. Whatever wear and tear has happened, is because of the bowlers’ footmarks.”