Pat Cummins delivered a harsh judgment on Australia’s batting following the loss to India in the second Test match.
Not every batter is comfortable attempting a high-risk shot like the sweep or reverse sweep, and that’s where some of his colleagues may have “gone out of their methods,” according to Australia’s skipper Pat Cummins following Australia’s demoralizing six-wicket defeat to India in the second Test.
As many as five Australian hitters, including vice-captain Steve Smith, were caught playing across the line to low-pitched deliveries. “They (India) bowled pretty well, in my opinion.
“It’s not easy out there, but maybe some guys changed their approaches,” Cummins remarked after the game. Cummins believes that a “one size fits all” approach to batting on these wickets is not the best way to proceed.
“Each batter has its unique approach. There isn’t, in my opinion, a universal norm. Regrettably, quite a number of us got out with cross-batted shots, which may not have been our ideal strategy,” Cummins added.
Batting has two components: pace and method. Cummins believes that the high tempo must be matched in the proper manner.
“The tempo of the game and the method are two major topics we discuss. Maybe we were a little too fast at times,” said Cummins, who doesn’t mind that attitude.
“But, I prefer high tempo to low tempo. To be honest, those wickets were challenging, although perhaps the method deviated from what we had anticipated at times.” Cummins admitted that batting first provided a decent opportunity to score 300 or more runs, which they “possibly” missed.
“Thinking back, 300 would have been wonderful. “260 was ‘fine,’ but if we truly want to drive home the advantage, we were a few seconds short.” The Delhi game evoked similar emotions as the Nagpur Test, in which Australia lost all ten wickets in a single session. They lost nine games in around 90 minutes on Sunday morning.
“It’s disappointing since this game was comparable to Nagpur’s second innings. We felt like we were in a great position for the majority of it, but we were maybe a few runs short in the end.
“Maybe we overplayed in Nagpur. We may be overplayed it in the second inning at times. You must devise a strategy to put pressure back on the bowlers.
“They’re fantastic bowlers, especially in these conditions.” India’s lower order did make a difference, with willows from Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Axar Patel in both games. In the opening game, Jadeja scored 70, while Axar smashed back-to-back half-tonnes under pressure. In both of his innings, Ashwin showed bravery.
Cummins complimented the Indian lower order’s efforts. Two consecutive hundred-plus partnerships for the eighth wicket (Axar-Jadeja in Nagpur, Axar-Ashwin in Delhi) proved pivotal.
“They batted really well once again. These are players who have scored hundreds of runs in Tests and batted really well. Most of the time, I thought our strategies were good, but they resulted in partnerships.
“It felt like if you put yourself in (set) a couple of times the first two days, it would get a bit easier. The ball was aging and becoming softer. We’ll check into it. It’s depressing. Very minor margins in both games wind up making a significant difference.”