BRISBANE: Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood heaped praises on Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar for batting "beautifully" on day three of the fourth Test and said the wicket is still "pretty good" to bat.
The record-breaking partnership between Thakur and Sundar pulled India back in the contest against Australia at The Gabba on Sunday. India were bundled out for 336, falling 33 runs short of the hosts' first-innings total. Thakur top-scored for India as he made 67 runs while Sundar accumulated 62 runs. Thakur and Sundar's 123-run resilient partnership enabled visitors to reach the 300-run mark after losing six wickets under 190 runs in the first innings.
Meanwhile, both the batters completed their half-centuries and also registered the highest seventh-wicket partnership for India at The Gabba, Brisbane.
"It is obviously a crucial partnership by them. I think we had them 200/6 around that mark so we thought we were on the top there and to be fair the guys played really well. Those two guys batted beautifully and it shows that wicket is still pretty good," Hazlewood said in the virtual press-conference after the end of play on Sunday.
"I think here at The Gabba bounce is so consistent even the tailenders can hit the ball and score runs if pitched up. The slow balls are probably the best way of getting the tail out. The bounce is so consistent that tailenders can score runs in front or behind the wickets. I think the bounce not only helps the scoreboard but they bring the wicket as well," he added.
At stumps on day three, Australia were at 21/0 in their second innings. The hosts are leading by 54 runs. David Warner is unbeaten on 20 runs while Marcus Harris is not out on one run.
When asked about how long will Australia bat and what target they will set for the visitors the pacer replied, "Probably depends who bats if David bats for long-time things will happen pretty quickly as we know but I think it will be pretty similar to Sydney, three and a half sessions or four sessions. It all depends on the weather as well, a bit of rain forecast in the afternoon on both days that could come into calculations but we just bat normally for the first two sessions tomorrow and see where we are."
Commenting on Nathan Lyon's role in the game, Hazlewood said there is nothing much help for him and he will play a holding role in the game.
"I don't think it is going to help him too much as probably more the quicks. I feel the cracks are opening up, we did not say gradual spin sometimes here on day one there is probably more spin when it is a bit tacky but this is a different wicket then previous years. He will play a holding role as he does on occasions and did it beautifully I think. Wickets will come at some stage if he keeps bowling on the right areas. Obviously, the Indians are great players of spin as well and we have seen that throughout the series," the speedster, who returned with the figures for 5-57, said.