Hyderabad: Xavier Doherty faced a tough initiation into Test cricket on Indian soil, having to wait 42.2 overs for his first wicket in India, but said he had come prepared for a long grind because Indians are such wonderful players of the turning ball.
"We knew it was going to be hard. They're very good players of spin," said Doherty, the left-arm spinner, on Monday (March 4) after returning figures of 3 for 131 in 46.1 overs in India's first-innings total of 503. "(Shane Warne) Warnie came down and spoke to the spinning group post the first Test and he said he averaged 45 over here, Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan) averaged 47 or something like that - they were the numbers he threw out. Some of the best bowlers in the world do battle over here. We knew it was going to be tough but it's about grinding away. They weren't just going to walk off. You've got to keep going and really try to apply some pressure, move your field and just try little things, which is what we did. Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) got that breakthrough and after that it got a little bit easier."
Australia are 74 for 2 in their second knock, 192 short of avoiding an innings defeat after three days of the second Test, and Doherty conceded that his team had its work cut out. "Watching the two Indian batsmen (Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara) go about it - how disciplined they were yesterday and again this morning - that's how we've got to be. We've got some quality players at the crease and still to come and we know that if we can find a way that works and keep the good balls out ...," he trailed off. "Yesterday, they absorbed all the pressure we threw at them early and scored their runs later in the day. If we do that tomorrow, it is game on, but we know there is a lot of hard work to be done tomorrow and we are well aware of that."