As the competition ahead of the third Test match in Sydney gets intense, Australia’s Coach Justin Langer remarked the ongoing Test Series on Tuesday. The coach said that the Test series is turning into an Arm Wrestle where the two teams’ scuffle is getting tough.
The fact that series in now level, 1-1, both Indian and Australian team have pulled up their socks for in the light of the preparations ahead of the third Test match that will begin from January 7.
“2005 Ashes was great cricket series, the ongoing series is also turning into an arm-wrestle, the first two Tests have been tough cricket, it’s 1-1 and that probably shows how close the series has been so far. We are very determined to get out of the blocks on Thursday, it has really felt like that we have been sitting around for a long time, there has been a big gap between the second and third Test.”
“We are just looking forward to playing some cricket again and it has been entertaining cricket for everyone to see, let’s hope it continues in the next two Test matches,” said Langer while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
Hopeful of David Warner playing in the third Test, Langer said “I think we have plenty of talent, David coming back in after an injury, you always welcome great players after injury, I think there is plenty of batting talent in Australia, it’s all about an opportunity, obviously we are addressing the issue, we just scored 200 in one innings this series so far but anytime you are scoring more than 200 in Tests, you are looking at ways to improve. Ashwin is bowling really well, Siraj is a very skillful bowler and Bumrah is a world-class bowler, we are looking to see who India plays as their third quick.”
In his rare poor form, Steve Smith was seen aggregating just 10 runs in the four innings of the two-Test matches that he played. Talking of Smith, Langer said, “Steve Smith always gets the volume up in practice, we were hampered a bit in Melbourne in our training but the MCG groundstaff did some great work, Steve is always hitting a lot of balls, even for the greatest of players, there is nothing more that can help than some time in the middle. We know how great problem-solver Steve Smith is, we know David Warner will be the same, so the only way to do that is to concentrate and fight hard.”
Indian bowlers acknowledged by Australia’s Coach
He spoke words of appreciation for the Indian bowlers for their disciplined bowling. “One of the great strengths for India over the last two series has been their discipline, if you see the first two Tests, they have been reasonably low-scoring games, I loved the last two Tests because there was a contest between bat and ball and that is what Test cricket is all about, there is a factor of wickets, there has been seam movement, India has taken straighter lines to a couple of our batsmen and have set the field accordingly,” Langer added.
Hailing Ravichandran Ashwin, Langer said “Let’s not discount, Ravi Ashwin has taken around 380 wickets, he has played a lot of cricket. The great bowlers are the ones who are hard to score against, Ashwin and Bumrah are right up there at the moment, credit to India, very well planned.”
Having a final clarity on the venue of the fourth Test, i.e. Brisbane, the Aussies coach deliberated on the hard quarantine and said, “We don’t have a choice, no one has a god-given right to represent Australia, we all have a choice, I have been consistent in saying this if anyone can deal with quarantine or bio-bubble, it’s cricketers because that’s how we live our lives most of the time. That’s not much difference, it is a bit tighter than usual, but we will get on with the series, India beat us here last time, we want to make amends for that, we want to take the journey forward. We are looking to win this Test, we will deal with what comes after that later.”
Both the visiting team (India), and the host team (Australia) have reached Sydney on January 4. Teams had earlier practised at MCG but will now practice in Sydney for the upcoming third Test of Border-Gavaskar Trophy.