Nagpur: The Indian team on Friday gave one more proof of Mahendra Singh Dhonis touch by adopting an interesting game plan in the fourth Test with the bigger goal of winning the series against Australia.
They set an 8-1 field and bowled outside the off, putting the squeeze on the Australian batsmen.
Pace sensation Ishant Sharma, who picked 2/64 and could have bagged more had Indias catching been better, defended the strategy.
I dont think it was a negative line. You could see that on some balls, Hussey and Katich got edges and it went through the hands. It happens sometimes, Ishant said after the third days play.
Yesterday (Friday) we attacked a lot but we went for runs.
Today we wanted to be a little bit more defensive. It was our only chance to come back into the game.
We bowled according to a plan. The captain had assigned different roles to the bowlers, we all bowled according to our roles.
Yet, it should have come as surprising that the Aussies could score only 166 runs in 85 overs. But not for Ishant.
I wasnt surprised. We were bowling according to our plans, we were not thinking what they were doing. We stuck to our plans and bowled in the right areas, he said. Obviously, they are known to be very attacking but it cant go in their favour always. It went in our favour today.
The seamer refused to put a number to the target he would like to defend in the fourth innings.
Whatever we get, we have to defend it. Its cricket, cant say you can get them out for 300 or something.
We have to wait for our chances. Just bowl in the right areas, he said.
The wicket doesnt have too much help for the bowlers. But if we are bowling in the right areas and keep building the pressure, it will be good for us, he added.
Ishant gave credit to skipper Dhoni for the way he handled the bowlers.
If your fast bowlers are in rhythm and look like taking a wicket, even if they bowl long spells, it is good for the team (to continue with them).
The bowlers were used very well today, no one got tired, he said.