Australia’s batsmen need to find their footing against the Indian spinners who threatened them going into a overwhelming first Test innings loss, captain Pat Cummins said on Saturday. The visitors were knocked out of 91 innings in just over two hours on day three, beaten by one innings and 132 runs in Nagpur and trailing 1-0 in the four-match series. Spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja shared 15 of the 20 Australian wickets, falling on a pitch where the hosts have posted 400 balls.
“A lot of it was good bowling,” Cummins said of his team’s batting breakdown.
“Two great masters with great skill, fresh legs, and they bowl really well,” he added.
“I don’t think the next few games will change much. That’s what we’re up against, so we’ve got to find a better way.”
Steve Smith is unbeaten in 25 starts while the Australian is batting just 32.3 overs.
Marnus Labuschagne (49), Smith (37), Peter Handscomb (31) and wicketkeeper Alex Carey (36) showed some sparks in the first innings before Australia were knocked out for 177 after the first-day tea.
“You see Smithy and Alex Carey putting pressure on the bowlers at times,” Cummins said.
“I think it takes a little guts, it’s easier said than done. Again, that’s going to be the talk of the week. If we got the same conditions, the same bowlers, what would we do differently?”
Debuting spinner Todd Murphy was the lone bright spot, going 7-124 in an otherwise lackluster game, and Cummins was full of praise for the 22-year-old.
“Todd was fantastic,” Cummins said.
“He came straight in and looked like he belonged in this class. There were only four front bowlers and we knew the second spinner was the key and he was great.”
The dry Nagpur pitch was much discussed by world number one Australia when they took part in the Test, with some Australian experts claiming it had been “remedied” by selective watering of the deck.
But Cummins said there were “no surprises” at the course.
On the injury front, Cummins has all but ruled out speed bowler Josh Hazlewood, who starts Friday’s second Test in New Delhi.
But he left the field open for all-rounder Cameron Green and fast bowler Mitchell Stark after all three players missed their opening innings.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from syndicated feeds.)