India is lucky to have the experience of senior players such as Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar and it would be a big challenge for Australia to make a come back in the third Test, all-rounder Moises Henriques said on Sunday.
“It’s a different challenge. It is certainly very tough to win Test matches over here against very experienced Indian team and very experienced Indian spinners,” Henriques told a press conference after his team had an extended session at the nets.
“You have guys like (MS) Dhoni and (Sachin) Tendulkar still leading the team around as senior players. Obviously you are very lucky to still have those characters around. They are very strong team, especially here (at home) and they play very well. So it’s a big challenge for all of us.
“For a lot of Australian players it is their first tour to India, so it is a new challenge. We are all doing as much we can to learn from every match we play here. We got to learn faster because we need to win this Test match,” he added.
Australia themselves are lacking in experience after the retirement of stalwarts such as Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey recently.
Henriques heaped praise on Indian spinners R Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh, terming them as “fantastic bowlers” and said they have to take positives from the two Test losses and quickly learn from their mistakes.
“Obviously we have to learn from what we haven’t done well in the first couple of Test matches. Obviously, we lost a lot of wickets to spin. We haven’t scored enough runs,” he said.
Asked what was the message from their team management after two losses in Chennai and Hyderabad, Henriques said: “The message is basically to stay positive and stay truthful to your plans and if you have a plan keep backing it and if you don’t (then) to find out what the right plan is for you.”
The all-rounder, who has just featured in two Tests, said the break ahead of the third Test has helped the team think and strategize their plans.
“The little bit of break between the second and third Test allowed players to work on making sure they know their plans and executing what their plan is,” Henriques said.
The 26-year-old said Australia will look to target the first session of play to get off to a positive start. “I think the first session -- whether be it with the bat or ball -- we want to make it a good one so that we can start off the Test very well,” he said.
Asked about his own performance, Henriques said he would look to make more impact with the ball.
“I feel I am playing my role with the ball, keeping it tight, but there has been limited impact in terms of getting breakthroughs and things like that. I had a very quiet second Test match. If selected for the third, hopefully, I can impact the game a little bit more,” he said.
The struggling Australian side has been dealt a further blow after wicketkeeper Matthew Wade injured his ankle, putting him in doubt for the Mohali Test, starting on Thursday.
Though Henriques said that Wade was in “pretty good spirits in the change room”, the team’s media manager Matt Cenin said things will be much clearer on Monday.
“He was playing basketball yesterday (at a private school in Chandigarh) when he sprained his ankle. He had a scan done this morning and have sent these back to Australia to be reviewed by our specialists and we should have update sometime tomorrow,” Cenin said.
Wade was in doubt ahead of the second Test as well after he fractured his cheekbone during training but he played with the pain and scored a 62 in the first innings.
Brad Haddin, who played four Tests in India during the 2008 tour by the Australians, has been now put on standby for injured Wade.