Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar praised Australia skipper Michael Clarke's decision to declare on 237/9 against India on Saturday and termed it "a bold decision."
With backs to the wall on the opening day of the second Test in Hyderabad on Saturday, Australia surprisingly chose to declare their first innings after losing nine wickets. Gavaskar however said it was a good decision from Clarke.
I feel it was a good ploy. It was a bold decision as he (Clarke) knew the last pair was not going to last. He took the Indians by surprise by choosing to declare on 237 and explore the option of grabbing a wicket in the three overs left on the day,” he said in the post-match analysis on NDTV.
Gavaskar though agreed with Dean Jones and said that the visitors’ batting left a lot to be desired.
"After winning the toss and opting to bat on a good track, a team must get at least 400. Australia never looked like scoring those runs. Partnerships are crucial. Clarke and (Matthew) Wade had something going but the Indians came back well," he said.
Jones however also heaped praises on Indian bowlers. "(Bhuvneshwar)Kumar was magnificent. (Ravindra)Jadeja was good. The Indians were in total control while the Australian batsmen need to come forward and play," he said. Kumar took three wickets on Day 1 after a lackluster debut in the opening Test while left-arm spinner Jadeja too had three wickets to show for his efforts.
Both former cricketers agreed that despite Kumar’s excellent bowling, the Australians appear more tentative against spin. Six of the nine wickets to fall in Hyderabad were claimed by Indian spinners.
"Mentally they (Australian batsmen) are expecting every ball to turn and jump at their throats. Nimble footwork and soft hands are needed but instead, the Australian batsmen are using hard hand and are jabbing at the ball. They need to focus better. Little bit of patience, little bit of application and little bit of determination can help them a lot," explained Gavaskar.