Australia s Kuhnemann says pitch to enjoy after India collapse
March 2, 2023 12:22 AM
Australia spinner Matthew Kuhnemann said Wednesday he enjoyed turning the tables on India with his five-wicket haul in the third Test, after the tourists suffered a spin onslaught earlier in the series.
Kuhnemann returned figures of 5-16 with his left-arm spin to bundle out India for 109 and Australia lead by 47 runs on a viciously turning pitch in Indore. The hosts, who hammered Australia twice inside three days on the spin-friendly pitches of the first two Tests, had a taste of their own medicine when their batting collapsed in a frenetic morning session.
"It's amazing. Really special to take wickets out there with the team," said Kuhnemann, who ruled the roost along with senior spinner Nathan Lyon (3-35). I think it is a really good day for our team in general with the bowlers going really well and the batters stepping up as well," he added. "But there's a long way to go in this game. Tomorrow is going to be a massive day."
The pitch turned ferociously from the start and also stayed low to make batting tough, with Virat Kohli top-scoring for India with 22. Usman Khawaja led Australia's reply with a gutsy 60, while Ravindra Jadeja took all the four Australian wickets in their 156-4 at stumps. Kuhnemann, who was flown in after the first Test to make his debut in New Delhi, said he had never seen so much spin but took the conditions in his stride.
"There was a lot of spin today," Kuhnemann said of the pitch, which has been criticised by pundits and called "not up to Test standard" by former Australia batsman Mark Waugh. "We just talked about bowling the same ball, owning my space. Nathan Lyon was excellent out there. Even after a couple of wickets, he said 'don't get ahead of yourself'. Not every day you get these wickets, so enjoy them."
India batting coach Vikram Rathour defended the turning wicket. "We prefer to play on turning tracks. To be fair this is a one-off wicket," said Rathour. "To be fair on the curators, they hardly had any time to prepare the wicket after Ranji Trophy and then the match got shifted from Dharamsala to here."