Australia will go into first Test low on confidence: Jalaj Saxena

Saxena and Dhruv's exploits helped India A to dismiss the Australians for 235 in the first innings and leave them at 195-3 in their 2nd essay.

Updated: February 18, 2013 21:16 IST
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Chennai: After wreaking havoc on rival camp along with Rakesh Dhurv on the third day of second warm-up game, off-spinner Jalaj Saxena on Monday said they put Australia "under pressure" and the visitors would go into the first Test with "low confidence".

"I think that we played as a team and the way we had planned - give our best and put the Australians under maximum pressure so that they go into the Test series low on confidence - we did that to an extent," said Saxena, who shared 11 wickets along with Dhruv on Monday.

Saxena and Dhruv's exploits helped India A to dismiss the Australians for 235 in the first innings and leave them at 195-3 in their 2nd essay today.

Left-arm spinner Dhruv said their efforts lay bare Australia's defensive lapses and poor execution to spin bowling.

"As far as their batting is concerned, they don't play spinners too well, which benefitted us. The wicket was a slow turner. Their primary deficiency was in defence. They also, at times, failed to judge the speed of the deliveries," he said.

"It's not like our intensity was less. That's why we asked them to follow-on. We wanted to win the game. But they batted better. They were obviously trying to save the game and didn't attack us as much as they did in the first innings. They went into a defensive mode once Watson was run out.

The 31-year-old from Gujarat said if India can go 1-0 up then it will be difficult for the Australians to comeback in the four-Test match series, which starts on Friday.

"Everything depends on how the Indian team plays in the first few matches. If India win the first one or two matches, then it will be very difficult for them to come back. Let's see how things go when the Test series starts," Dhruv said.

Asked about his career, Dhruv said: "Can't say about our careers because that depends on the selectors. I can say that both of us are high on confidence now. This game has added to our confidence, it makes us believe that we do even better.

"I was there at NCA, the first batch, in 2000 and later in 2008. I think whenever you perform, it's the right time. It's never too late if you are fit."

Saxena also said it was a good learning experience to play against the Aussies.

"You can say this was a great opportunity for us. I wish there are more and more games for India A. For the last two years, the India A team has been going on foreign tours too, so that's a good thing for us youngsters," he said.

The 26-year-old from Madhya Pradesh stressed on the importance of a good stock ball and said he was also working on his variation.

"I believe that your stock ball has to be your most effective ball. If I have wicket-taking ability with my stock ball, which is the offspinner, then my variations will be more useful," Sexena said.

"If I don't have a good off-spin, then the variations won't help. I am working on my variations and learning new things, but the focus is to ensure the stock ball remains my best delivery."

Asked how was it bowling with Dhruv at the middle, Saxena said: "We shared a lot during our spells. We were discussing our speeds. We exchanged a lot of thoughts among ourselves."

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