Australia coach Darren Lehmann stated that he had no qualms with Steve Smith’s decision to almost sticking with the tourists’ frontline bowlers during India’s marathon first innings of the third Test.
Australia failed to take a wicket until after tea on day four as Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha combined for a record seventh-wicket stand of 199. Despite having a few other options in the bowling department Smith chose not to go to them. He did employ allrounder Glenn Maxwell but only for a handful of overs.
Speaking to cricketaustralia.au, Lehmann reiterated he had no issue with Smith only using Maxwell for two overs on Sunday. “I think that’s captain’s call obviously,” Lehmann said when asked about Maxwell’s light workload. “We did speak about it, chopping and changing (the bowlers) a little bit.”
Lehmann added, “The game was always on a knife’s edge so you always want your best spinners going. And we chopped and changed a little bit (but Maxwell) probably could have bowled a few more overs. But I thought the spinners toiled really hard as well so that’s a call the captain makes out there and (we’re) happy with that.”
Meanwhile, Steve Smith’s decision was questioned by former Australia captain and commentator Michael Clarke. “Maxwell should definitely have bowled more than two overs. He needs to be given a chance.”
“On good batting wickets, if you keep doing the same things then you’re going to keep getting the same results. Australia missed a trick yesterday. They were quite defensive with their fields, a new batsman came out and there were three or four guys on the boundary.”
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