Former captain Ian Chappell believes getting India out cheaply in the first morning of the third Test here, on a pitch that offered vicious turn and uneven bounce, was key to Australia’s turnaround in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The Indian batters lacked application and were dismissed for 109 and 163 in two innings of the match, which Australia won by an emphatic nine wickets to seal their place in the World Test Championship final.
Australia’s victory came after they lost the first two Tests in Nagpur and Delhi inside three days.
“The key was to bowling India out cheaply in the first innings. Once they (Australia) did that they gave themselves a chance to get a decent lead. It wasn’t a huge lead but a decent and useful one,” the legendary Chappell was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“And then, in the second innings only having to chase a low score after Australia lost an early wicket and then Head, in particular, decided to attack, that’s when Australia ran away with the game.
“So for me the key was getting India cheaply in the first innings and that took a lot of courage to turn things around from what had happened in the first two Tests,” he added.
Chappell said the visitors knew what they needed to do to turn things around on the tour, but lacked in implementation in the first two matches.
“Australia talked about what they had to do, talking about is easy part, doing it is difficult and Australia did it in this Test match,” he said.
Terming Travis Head’s non-selection in the first two Test as “ridiculous”, the 79-year-old said finally good sense prevailed in the Australian tour selection committee.
“That was ridiculous non-selection, stupidity that was but at least the Australians have seen the error of their ways,” he concluded.
The fourth and final Test of the series will be played in Ahmedabad from March 9.