The Australians have always believed in playing an attacking game of cricket and on Saturday they were at their aggressive best. The pace trio of Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Peter Siddle bowled at a good pace. They used the short-pitch deliveries to rattle the Indian batsmen. Cheteshwar Pujara was hit on the knuckles, Murali Vijay had to duck a few disconcerting deliveries while debutant Ajinkya Rahane was greeted to Test cricket with a steep bouncer that hit his helmet.
The fiery Australians resorted to sledging to unsettle the Indians. They targeted Rahane, who was given a mouthful from Siddle. The other batsmen too were targeted by the fielders, led by David Warner. Umpires Aleem Dar and RA Kettleborough had to cool down the tempers. Warner went menacingly towards a smiling Dhoni before Watson had to intervene. There was plenty of drama in the post-tea session with the Australians playing some attacking cricket to make an impact in the game for the first time in the series.
Nathan Lyon, who bagged five wickets, admitted that they had not done in the first three Tests where they suffered humiliating defeats. “Australia plays cricket hard, we play hard but fair, we know where the line is. We push to the limit and that is the way we play our best cricket,” said Lyon.
With Watson taking charge of the team after Michael Clarke’s injury, there seems to be a change in tactics of the Australians. “Definitely not,” Lyon said. “We all know how good Michael Clarke is as a leader and Shane is not far behind that,” he said.
On whether match referee Ranjan Madugalle had a word with Watson, Lyon said it was more on slow over rate. “It was just a bit of banter between the match official and Shane.” However, Indian opening batsman Murali Vijay dismissed it by saying that it is part and parcel of the game.