India's first innings half centurion Cheteshwar Pujara feels that Indian team was in a great position until he and Rishabh Pant got out, post which the game completely changed. He added that one can't put too much pressure on the inexperienced Indian bowlers as they are learning whilst playing.
After being down and out on day one, India made a spirited comeback on day two of the third test match against Australia in the ongoing Border Gavaskar Trophy. But on the third day of the SCG Test, all the good work done by the visitors was undone as the batsmen failed to cash in even after the openers had got the team off to a great start. India's intent-less batting approach, three run-outs, some poor shots and the inability to convert starts into big scores meant that Australia gained a big lead.
Speaking in the press conference post the close of today's play, senior batsman Cheteshwar Pujara asserted that the Indian team was progressing well and were in a good position till Pant got out, which was closely followed by his own dismissal which propelled a collapse in the Indian batting as they went from 195 for 4 to 244 all-out.
"If you look at the way the Indian innings was progressing, I think we were in a good position till Rishabh Pant got out. And then I also got out some time after, so that was a point where the game turned around. Think we missed out there. Also Rahane's wicket was a big blow, " Pujara said in the press conference after today's play.
Today's day also marked injury scares for India as both Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja rushed to the hospital for scans after they were hit by nasty bounces by the Oz bowlers. It also meant that when Australia came out to bat in the second innings, Ravindra Jadeja was not able to bowl. Pujara termed Jadeja's absence as a big blow, as he had done a great job in the first innings, where he picked the 4 wickets.
"Ravindra Jadeja's injury puts pressure on the team. It leaves us with four bowlers and requires others to step up with more overs. He also bowled really well in the first innings. He's someone who puts pressure on batsmen. Not only as a bowler, he's crucial as a fielder too."
One of the hallmarks of this Test series for the hosts has been how disciplined and relentless their bowling has been. In comparison, Indian bowlers have been inconsistent, especially this Test with debutant Navdeep Saini failing to impress. Pujara credited Australia's great bowling and said Indian bowlers will also learn a lot with time.
“I thought they bowled good line and lengths. Credit to the way Australia bowled. If you look our line up there are bowlers who are playing 1st/2nd match we are slightly inexperienced.”
"You can't put much pressure on Siraj and Saini. This is Siraj's second Test while it was second day for Saini in Test cricket. Also, bowling in Australia is tough. But, it's a great learning curve for them and they will get better day by day but it's a good chance for them. I am confident that we have a great bunch of fast bowlers."