Usman Khawaja said that the Perth pitch might prove helpful in taking early Indian wickets on Day 3 of the second Test between India and Australia. “There is still enough in it and maybe we bowled well in patches and then didn’t in other patches. They batted well and put pressure on our bowlers. Hopefully, we can get a couple of wickets early, break this partnership because this is not an easy pitch to start on. We still have to start off well tomorrow and have that chance at their tail but still have to be quite disciplined,” said the Australian batsman in a press-conference after second day’s play in Perth.
The pitch looked benign on Day 2 as compared to the first day with the inconsistency in bounce becoming less prevalent. India struggled to break the overnight partnership between Tim Paine and Pat Cummins while Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane resisted the Australian bowlers later in the day.
“Everyone pretends to be an expert on wickets but none of us really know. Looked like it had patches where it was doing a little bit. They could have nicked a couple more and it would have been a different day,” said Khawaja.
Kohli ended the day on 82 and Rahane on 51 with the partnership between them reaching 90. “Virat is a good batsman. He respects good bowlers. All our bowlers bowled well in patches today. Sometimes they nick it sometimes they don’t. We just have to keep putting it in right place in the right time. We have to be disciplined enough to get those edges and a bit of luck is needed,” he said.
“If you give him opportunity to score, he will take it. He was on it today and gave him a couple fuller balls, so he hit us but at same time we had to attack stumps and see what the wicket had to offer.”
The Indian captain and his deputy’s partnership put India on the ascendancy at the end of Day 2 but Khawaja said that Australia are still ahead in the game. “We haven’t lost the upper hand and are still ahead of the game. Ajinkya Rahane came out and took on the short ball but we pegged them back as bowlers started bowling well. We need to do it consistently through the whole period. We knew that but some days it comes easy, some days it doesn’t. Hopefully tomorrow we can be a little bit better. They are still 140 behind. It took them 70 overs to get 170-odd. One or two wickets in first session will be pretty big for us,” he said.