Nagpur:Opener Simon Katich, who notched up his fifth century, on Sunday complimented the Indian bowlers for executing their strategy perfectly and rebuffed suggestions that the Australians were too defensive in the opening session.
"You are kidding me, are you not? We were defensive with an 8-1 field? You obviously don't understand the game," he shot back when queried whether the Australia were defensive, scoring only 42 runs in the pre-lunch session.
The left-handed batsman, who scored two centuries in West Indies in May-June to revive his floundering career, said he was not surprised by the tactics adopted by the hosts against him and fellow-West Australian Michael Hussey (90).
The Indians stemmed Australia's flow of runs with a defensive field setting after giving away 189 runs for two in 49 overs on Friday.
"They know they don't have to win the Test match," he responded, referring to the fact that the hosts were 1-0 ahead in the series and needed only a draw to clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy here.
"It is a good strategy if you can execute it. If you don't get it right, you can pay a price but they executed it well. That is the bottom line," he said.
Asked whether the slow manner in which the Australians batted could be construed as part of the 'New age cricket' proclaimed by his captain Ricky Ponting prior to the series, he said, "I don't know. Just ask the Indians that. It is their tactics, not ours".
Katich said that he and Hussey, who put on 155 runs for third wicket in 325 balls, felt that things would have been different if the duo could have seen through the day. "Huss and I were pretty content to try and wait it out. And then review it later in the day. Unfortunately that didn't happen due to both of us getting out. When that doesn't come off, it doesn't look great," he said.
"Had we been able to ride it out and get to the end of the day, scoring would have been lot easier later. And we were hoping to not only draw level to India but also possibly go past tomorrow. Unfortunately that didn't come off," he added.
However, he was optimistic that the Aussies could still turn around the match and surge to a win from the position they are in if they could restrict the overall Indian lead to under 300.
"We have to keep them around 300 on the last day. We have to bowl well tomorrow and take our chances. We had them in trouble in the first innings at 100 for three. Unfortunately, we could not do damage to the middle order. So hopefully tomorrow we can keep chipping away consistently," he explained.
Katich expressed satisfaction over his batting display last evening when he remained unbeaten on 92 with Hussey on 45 but rued the fact that the duo could not carry on their innings today.
"Today wasn't bad but yesterday I was pretty happy with the way I played. Huss is special obviously since we grew up playing cricket together from the time we were 10 years old. So that partnership was pretty special. Unfortunately, we could not build on that partnership and if we had, it would have been an interesting game," he said.