Shocked at India’s humiliation at the hands of Australia in the first Test, former wicket-keeper batsman Farokh Engineer on Saturday questioned the nature of Pune pitch and slammed the home batsmen for their poor shot selection which cost them the match.
A sloppy India slumped to a humiliating 333-run loss inside three days in the first Test against Australia after the hosts were dismissed for 107 in 33.5 overs in their second innings after Australia set a daunting target of 441.
“I am totally shocked. I watched every ball in this game, the first ball turns square, you don’t prepare a Test match wicket in this manner. You prepare a Test match wicket to last five days,” Engineer, who played 46 Tests, told reporters. “Umesh (Yadav) and Australian quicks (pacers) got the wickets. As it so happened Australians won the toss and decided to bat. I think the whole thing misfired in our faces, we never expected.
“We were too complacent, our spinners are the best in the world, (Ravichandran) Ashwin, (Ravindra) Jadeja, they are fantastic bowlers. We missed so many chances. Looking at Australia’s fielding, close-in fielding, I remembered of Eknath Solkar’s days. They were not taking catches they were making catches, which put them in strong position,” he said.
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Engineer hoped that the team learns from its mistakes and ‘firstly never prepares a wicket like this one’. “Our first innings problem was when (KL) Rahul got out and he played a silly shot and that started the debacle. When you are set and you know that a fresh batsman will come, you do not play such a shot. I hope the captain has ticked him. You just don’t do that,” he added. “We were playing, (like) we are playing IPL. Good bowling. You have to give Australians credit, they outplayed us. It hurts me as an Indian. We were humiliated and this is not (what) we expected after great performances against England and New Zealand,” he added.