Ranchi, March 20: After Australia battled hard to secure a draw in the 3rd Test here today (March 20), Indian captain Virat Kohli expressed his unhappiness over the "standard" of the match ball on the 5th and final day.
Gritty half centuries from Peter Handscomb (72 not out) and Shaun Marsh (53), ensured that the visitors saved the Test on the final day on Monday at JSCA Stadium.
India needed 8 wickets on the final day but managed only 4 as Australia ended their 2nd innings at 204/6 in 100 overs, securing a draw. The visitors had started the day at 23/2 after conceding a 152-run lead.
In the post-match presentation, former India batsman and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar asked Kohli about the rough patches on the pitch and how they did not help spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Manjrekar asked Kohli, "Interesting pitch as well. The rough seemed to have gone to sleep on the final day."
Kohli replied, "I think it was not about the wicket not doing anything. I thik it was more to do with the ball. I don't think the ball (SG Test) was hard enough to bite off the surface. Even the ball that was changed was not upto standard. I don't know, there are lot of balls coming in. It had nothing to do with the wicket. When you don't have the hardness in the ball, it is very difficult for the guys to generate pace off the wicket."
During Australia's 2nd innings today, the ball was changed by the umpires in the 71st over.
Manjrekar questioned again, "Last evening the ball was flying off the pitch and 30-40 overs later, it had gone dead?"
Kohli said, "Hard new ball and after 40 overs later, the game gets delayed. If you have a hard ball throughout it is a different ball game altogether. Even when they (Australia) were bowling a harder ball would have made a difference. That is what happens. That is Test cricket. Conditions don't go your way all the time."
With the series tied 1-1, the 4th and final Test will be played in Dharamsala from March 25.