Pune: Australian captain Steven Smith rubbed salt into India’s wounds saying that Virat Kohli and company dug their own grave by preparing a rank turner which backfired badly in the first Test.
Indian batsmen were made to hop skip and jump by left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe as they surrendered to a 333-run loss in the first Test of the four-match series.
“It was up to them to prepare a wicket and they prepared a wicket that actually played into our hands,” Smith said at the post-match media conference.
“I think it was certainly a wicket that was likely to suit the Indian players. I think it evened up the contest a lot more. We saw the way our spinners bowled on that. They were able to generate some good spin and good natural variation out of the wicket,” said Smith.
In a subtle way, Smith said that he is curious to know what kind of wicket will be prepared in Bengaluru.
“It would be interesting to see what they come up with come Bangalore (for the second Test commencing March 4),” added Smith, who led the way in batting with a second innings hundred that took the game away from the hosts.
Smith termed this Test win as an achievement right up there with some of the memorable Australian victories on Indian sub-continent.
“Right up there. Coming to India, we haven’t won a game here in 4,502 days. I have been told those facts. So it has been an incredibly long time. Guys have been excited by the opportunity to come and play here. We know it’s a great challenge and in this game the boys were up to the challenge,” said Smith.
“I think it was fortunate, Day 1, win the toss and post 260 on that wicket was very good. And then our bowlers went to work. I thought Sock (O’Keefe) was absolutely amazing to consistently land the ball in good areas and get the natural variation was absolutely outstanding. It was well supported by Nathan Lyon and the two fast bowlers as well.”
While he was dropped as many as five times, Smith rated his own knock of 109 on this pitch as one of his big accomplishment.
“It’s going to be right up there as well. I obviously rode my luck throughout the innings, had a few lives. But you need a bit of luck on a wicket like that, and I was pleased with myself to score a second innings hundred in India. Formulate some different plans than how I normally play and sort of problem solving on the spot.”
“So from that aspect, I am pleased with myself. It was great that we were able to get such a big lead and give our bowlers plenty to bowl at.”