Pacer Mohammed Shami Monday said that India missed a trick in not playing a full-time spinner on a pitch where Australia tweaker Nathan Lyon has already bagged seven wickets.
Chasing 287, India were reduced to 112 for five at stumps on day four of the second Test at the Optus Stadium.
Australia finished with 243 in their second innings, with Shami taking a career-best haul of 6-56 but the match went away from India for the lack of a balanced bowling attack.
“The team management makes these decisions. We can’t do anything about it. We had one spinner who didn’t bowl badly. (But) If you ask me, I feel there should have been a spinner, but these things depend on your management,” said Shami.
“After such a long time we have an Indian pace attack where all the bowlers are fast and are bowling good lines and lengths. Four years ago we weren’t even this experienced. You must have seen the difference in our accuracy from four years ago.”
India lead the four-match series 1-0 after their 31-run win in the opening Test at Adelaide.
“It helps a lot to have a good bowler at the other end, who has the same mentality as you and is keeping things tight.
“This keeps the pressure up, and sometimes you don’t even realise when the game turns your way. The bowler at the other end is sometimes just as important,” he added, heaping praise on the fast-bowling unit.
Talking about his career-best spell, the pacer said, “I always try to bowl a good line and length. Rest is up to your luck, how many wickets you get or not. Your approach has to be good. If you are playing Test cricket, you have to focus on your line and length. You will get the wickets automatically.
India have Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant at the crease, and need 175 runs for victory. The visitors were reduced 55 for four at one stage, with Nathan Lyon dismissing Virat Kohli and Murali Vijay in the space of three overs.
Shami said winning or losing isn’t important as the team competed well on a tough Perth wicket, which is proving very challenging to batsmen of both sides.
“It is part of the game. Winning and losing happens. We will just look forward. But it is like a normal Perth wicket and that’s how it has played so far. It is in everybody’s minds that on days 3 and 4 there will be some up and down and we are getting to see this so far,” he said.
“What happens on the outside, what the opposition does, it doesn’t affect us. We have to focus on our game and we have to improve our game. Not what step of ours is being watched and what is not,” he signed off.