Ajay Jadeja, Rishabh Pant
Ajay Jadeja (Credits - AFP)

Former India batsman Ajay Jadeja said Australia put the pressure back on Indian bowlers for the first time in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy this Thursday (January 7).

Jadeja pointed out how aggressive approach from Australian batsmen on Day 1 of the Sydney Test forced the Indians to think defensively.

Buoyed by half-centuries from Will Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne, the Australians ended with 166/2 on a rain-interrupted opening day.

Steve Smith, Ravichandran Ashwin, India, Australia
Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith [Photo-Twitter]

Australia Have Come Back Strongly After Losing In Melbourne: Jadeja

Jadeja praised the Australian team for its commendable fightback after losing the second Test in Melbourne inside four days. The home team were dominated by India in the Boxing Day Test and lost by eight wickets.

“Australia I think came back strongly after losing that Test match (Boxing Day Test). There was a change of approach as well. They were looking to attack and they were getting Indians to think beyond just taking wickets and where they are going to start defending,” Jadeja said on Sony Networks.

“So a strike-bowler like Ravichandran Ashwin (gets hit for) one boundary and the short leg goes off. They have forced Indians to think defensive for the first time,” he added.

However, Jadeja also said the surface at the Sydney Cricket Ground hasn’t provided any assistance to the bowlers, unlike the pitches in the previous two Tests.

“You have got to give credit to the groundsman. It is a different wicket from the first couple of games that we saw. There was a lot more help (for the bowlers) in the first two games, particularly Day 1 and Day 2 where there was moisture for spin and the seam movement. There was hardly anything for the bowlers (today),” said Jadeja.

Will Pucovski Looked Good On Test Debut: Glenn McGrath

Will Pucovski, Navdeep Saini
Will Pucovski scored a 50 before getting dismissed by Navdeep Saini [Photo-ICC]
Jadeja’s co-panellist, Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath heaped praise on debutant opener Will Pucovski for his fighting half-century.

Pucovski overcame a concussion scare and played a fine knock of 62 on his first day of Test cricket. While Pucovski looked pretty solid, McGrath said the failure of David Warner is a concern.

Visibly struggling for fitness, the explosive left-hander got out flashing at one outside off for just 5 runs.

“I thought it was a good toss to win. The fact that Warner was back in and they were playing Pucovski for his first Test match. David Warner to me looked a little rusty, he hasn’t played and he looked a little jittery. So, there is a concern how his fitness is,” McGrath said.

Glenn McGrath
Glenn McGrath. Credit: Getty Images

“Pucovski on the other hand did have a little bit of luck, but I thought he looked good out there. He wasn’t overawed by the situation and he looked like he belonged (to the team) just like Labuschagne and Smith,” he added.

With the Test series levelled 1-1, the result of the Sydney Test is extremely crucial for both teams. Having gained in the ascendency at the beginning, the Australians will look to further stamp their authority on Day 2 of the encounter.