Australia will go into the third Test against India in Sydney with plenty of questions over its batting line-up. With the Indians bowling a straighter line and to a tight leg-side field, the host has been restricted to modest totals of 191, 195 and 200 in the first two Tests. And fast bowling great Glenn McGrath believes batting with intent will be key to revving up Australia’s scoring rate.
“It is just the mindset. It is about going out there and showing intent to score. If you are hanging around, being defensive, you will get out sooner or later, especially against quality bowlers like (Jasprit) Bumrah and (Ravichandran) Ashwin,” McGrath said.
“You’ve to look to put the bad ball away when it comes, try and rotate the strike. Australia tried to take a lot of singles during the second innings in Melbourne, which looked positive. But as soon as a few wickets fell, they went back into their shell.
“The way Shubman Gill started, he looked to play his shots... Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja did the same — all three players were looking to score runs [in Melbourne]. They weren’t batting for survival. The way Ajinkya Rahane batted in Melbourne was sensational. So, they need to take a leaf out of those Indian batsmen.”
McGrath feels India’s playing XI will be buoyed by the presence of Rohit Sharma, who will play his first Test in more than a year.
“Rohit Sharma is a class player. To have someone of that skill and experience coming into the team should be a big lift for India,” McGrath said. “He will be keen to make an instant impact. I always thought that a player of his experience should do better in Test cricket than what his stats probably suggest.”
The third Test will begin from January 7, 2021, on Sony Six, Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 3 channels.