Bangalore: Master batsman Sachin Tendulkar and rest of the Indian batting need to fire in unison to overcome a slow and deteriorating Chinnaswamy wicket here to surpass the first innings huge total of Australia in the last Test of the two-match series on Sunday.
“We have a lot of work to do. The wicket is deteriorating now and the ball is coming on slower than expected. It is having a two paced kind of stuff. We got to really work our plan out and play. It is not that easy to bat on this surface,” Indian opener Murali Vijay said at the post-day media briefing.
Tendulkar and Vijay during their unbeaten 90-run partnership frustrated the Australians, who were looking to make further inroad in the Indian batting line-up by getting two wickets for 38 runs.
Vijay cruised to 42 and Tendulkar was on 44, along the way becoming the first man to accumulate 14,000 Test runs.
However, Marcus North, who sealed his immediate future with a career-best 128 knock in Australia’s first innings total of 478 runs, said, “It is a pretty good batting wicket. I hope it is going to be much tacky and quite moist.”
North predicted that on the fourth and fifth day, the wicket would become harder to bat on.
“We need to get some break tomorrow by putting a little bit of pressure and get through the middle-order out.”
Meanwhile, on the Indian game-plan to surpass the Australian total, Vijay said, “There were no issues (with Sehwag). We just planned to play ball by ball and trying to concentrate harder because we fielded for 140 overs and to bat only for about 30 overs. We wanted to make sure that we do not give early wickets.”
Vijay also said that he was trying to play his game ball by ball and was not much concerned with what Australian bowlers were planning against him. “I tried to make myself calm and cool when both Sehwag and Dravid got out.”
On his partnership with Tendulkar, Vijay said, “We are batting well and we just wanted to concentrate on our basics and get the runs and our thinking is focused towards this.”
“It is actually easy and there are no difference playing with Sehwag or Sachin. Both are legends now. It is a great honour for me to accompany them.
“I am learning a lot playing along with them and hopefully, one day I could play like that. Sharing the dressing room with Sachin is a celebration for me,” he said.
In hind sight, Vijay said, “The wicket was really good in the morning and nothing was happening on it. We had planned not to give them runs. Initially we gave a lot of boundaries and may it looked different because of these big runs.”
“But, we tried hard to get them back in our control and it happened in the second session. I try to make it simple by trying to contribute for the team which ever the way possible. I want to concentrate towards these and give my hundred percent,” he said.
Asked whether he was concerned when play was called off for the day with many overs to spare, Vijay replied, “We were not shocked because the match should have been called off much more earlier as the light was really bad.
“They were operating spinner but we were missing even their deliveries. Last three overs were not that easy to bat on under the available lights.”
The Australians found Bangalore wicket “different” from Mohali. “We saw the spell today by Ohja, who bowled very well and got some bounce too. Looking at that, I think our bowlers also could some bounce to carry through,” North said.
On his superb batting performance, he said, “I was under pressure going in to this game. I had couple of disappointing test matches earlier on. It was a great opportunity for me to go on a good batting surface. I had a good start yesterday and I went out and got most of it today.”
“It is a satisfying hundred without doubt especially because of some of the last disappointing performances. I just got in to a positive stride and worked on my on-drive and that really set my business up working yesterday and today at the middle,” he said.
About batting on sub-continent wickets, North said, “I was accessing the ball well. I had played here before and got some good runs but test matches are different. I wanted to contribute in this innings. I think India is a great place to bat. It can be difficult at times.”
On much of a relief to Australia after Mitchell Johnson took Rahul Dravid’s wicket, North said, “It is surprising that Rahul with such a record in Test cricket has been getting out in that manner. I am not aware of his record at this ground but we succeed with our plans to take his wicket today.”