The left-arm paceman, like all other Aussie bowlers, toiled long and hard and it wasn’t until the final session that they got the breakthrough when centurion Murali Vijay nicked to wicket-keeper Tim Paine. Johnson blamed their failure to get wickets on their over-eagerness. “When we were out there in the morning, we tried a little too hard, which didn’t work for us,” said the bowler, who also accounted for debutant Cheteshwar Pujara three balls after dismissing Vijay.
“As the day went on, Tendulkar and Vijay batted very well. We stuck to our plans but there were a couple of occasions when we did not execute well. That worked in their favour. We tried hard with the short stuff and tried to get a wicket. Overall, the first hour we went a little hard at them. If we get a couple of quick wickets tomorrow morning, we will get the lead and bat really well after that,” he elaborated.
With India already reaching 435 for five in reply to Australia 478, the Test appears more heading towards a stalemate than a result. Johnson, however, hoped Australia would pull off a win. “We are always looking to win Test matches. Today we saw some balls going very low and a couple of them jumped off at the wicket as well.
“The talk on the wicket was how it will break up but the sun hasn’t come out to break it up for us. That’s what we would have probably liked. Two days to go and it might break up. I am confident that we can go there tomorrow and push hard for wickets, obviously we have to bat really well to win this Test match,” he explained.
Johnson simply marvelled at Sachin Tendulkar’s class. “I occasionally get into him a little bit; after one of the short balls, I gave him a stare. But he doesn’t take too much chance, to be honest. He is in his own world. When someone is on 180 or 190, (what you say) doesn’t matter. There is not too much you can say to him anyway, can you?”
Ojha looks for lead
Meanwhile, Pragyan Ojha hoped India would get a decent lead to put the Aussies under pressure. “The way our guys are batting, if we get a 150-200 run lead, it will be fantastic. They will be under pressure whether to attack or play the day out,” felt the left-arm spinner.
Ojha was amazed by Tendulkar’s batting. “When Sachin plays, the whole nation watches him. That’s the effect he has on India and everywhere where cricket exists. The way he is playing, the way everything is progressing, I wish he gets a triple hundred,” he wished.