Runs are less but anything can happen on this wicket: Umesh on defending 75 in third Test

The pitch is offering plenty of turn and uneven bounce has also made the batters' job harder
Last Updated : 02 March 2023, 14:50 IST

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Australia need only 76 runs to complete a memorable Test win in India but the wicked nature of the pitch has kept the home team pacer Umesh Yadav hopeful going into day three.

Fourteen wickets fell on the opening day while 16 batters got out on Thursday.

The pitch is offering plenty of turn and uneven bounce has also made the batters' job harder.

Nathan Lyon ran through the Indian batting on day two to end with an eight-wicket haul and put his team within touching distance of a rare win in India.

Umesh acknowledged that his team has not put enough runs on the board but it still has an outside chance.

"In cricket anything can happen. We will try our best and bowl tight lines. It is not an easy wicket, whether it is our batters or theirs. It is not easy to step out and hit.

"The ball is keeping low as well, so you can't be sure about stepping out.

"The runs are less but we will stick to tight lines and push as much as we can," said Umesh, who did his job with the ball on Thursday morning by providing three wickets.

The 35-year-old, who doesn't get to play regularly at home with India going with only two pacers, bowled his heart out in the first session to help the hosts limit Australia to 197 in their second innings after resuming the day at 156 for four.

Umesh bowled fast and straight with a scrambled seam and let the surface do the rest. He trapped Cameron Green in front with a beauty that held its line after landing on middle stump. Mitchell Starc and Todd Murphy could also do little against a charged up Umesh and saw their stumps being dismantled.

"My plan on this surface was to bowl straight and push for a wicket or two. As a fast bowler, I have to hit the deck hard and bowl in the right areas. I have played most of my cricket in India, my mindset is always to get a wicket."

On the scramble seam, he added, "There was seam movement that is why I tried the scrambled seam. If it was not swinging, it was seaming. Whatever length I bowled there was seam movement and skidding after pitching."

With the bat, Umesh could not added vital runs for the team as he and Mohammed Siraj both perished while going for the big hits.

The pacer said on wickets like these, it makes more sense for a tail-ender to attack than defend.

"We didn't get any message (to attack) when I went in to bat. My job was to score runs on this tough wicket. It is difficult to get runs here. I feel, rather than defending and getting out eventually, it is better to go for shots on a wicket like this. Even I would have scored 10-20 runs, that would have pushed the lead to 90. That is more important for me," he added.

Published 02 March 2023, 14:50 IST

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