India bowling 'masters' Jadeja and Ashwin 'let the mistakes happen' in Australia collapse

By Sports Desk February 19, 2023

Rohit Sharma explained how India's bowling "masters" made sure not to panic before an Australia collapse gave them a comprehensive victory in the second Test.

Australia looked to have the edge at the start of day three, resuming on 61-1 after holding a one-run lead at the innings break.

India captain Rohit feared the hosts would struggle batting last on a difficult Delhi pitch, but instead it was Australia who bowed to the conditions.

The tourists were all out for 113 by lunch, with Ravindra Jadeja enjoying career-best bowling figures of 7-42.

Ravichandran Ashwin chipped in with three vital wickets, too, and Rohit credited the pair for turning the match in India's favour ahead of a routine chase.

"It is a fantastic result for us, looking at how things were yesterday," the skipper said. "How we came back and finished the job was a great effort from the bowlers.

"Even though the deficit was just one run, I felt we were very much behind – we had to bat last.

"On a pitch like that, you have to come out and try to do different things. We knew they were going to come and play shots. For us, it was about not panicking, and we had to hit those areas rather than panicking.

"I've seen them bowl enough and take wickets in these kind of conditions. We had discussed some things in the morning that we had to do, and that worked for us.

"Look, every game you play here there is some moisture, and what I noticed in three days is it has a lot to offer in the first session.

"Then the pitch gets slower and slower and there is not enough bite in the pitch – it's something we focused on.

"I had a good chat with the bowlers and they are masters of these conditions. It was important for us to stay calm and let the mistakes happen."

Jadeja and Ashwin had also crucially contributed with the bat in India's first innings, scoring 26 and 37 respectively.

Rohit added: "When you play Test cricket, there are a lot of [big] moments, but I thought the partnerships between Virat [Kohli] and Jadeja and Axar [Patel] and Ash [were big] – to get that hundred partnership [114 between Axar and Ashwin] was never going to be easy.

"Even then, we knew we had to bowl well and restrict them to as low as possible."

Australia captain Pat Cummins, whose side now trail 2-0 in the series, said: "I thought 260 was a decent score on the first-day wicket and the guys bounced back well.

"I think they batted well – one or two partnerships – and it was evenly matched at the innings break.

"[Australia's batting] was disappointing – the pressure was right on them, but we will have to review what we could have done differently.

"It's a similar story to Nagpur. Some of it is down to planning, and it wasn't easy when Ashwin and Jadeja were bowling.

"I think both defeats [hurt] – this one particularly when we were ahead of the game."

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