Gautam Gambhir stroked a brilliant 112 against Australia on Saturday Getty Images
Chennai: Feb 16, 2013
The pick of the Australian bowlers Xavier Doherty found nothing “surprising” in Gautam Gambhir’s century since the left-hander is a class act against slow bowlers.
“Gambhir played beautifully. He is a very good batsman and extremely good player of spin bowling. Therefore, it was not surprising in the manner he batted today,” left-arm spinner Doherty told mediapersons after end of first day’s play against India A.
The spin trio of Nathan Lyon, Doherty and Ashton Agar conceded 244 runs in 49 overs and the left-armer agreed that they didn’t perform well.
“It was not the best day for spinners. In tour matches, we work out these things to see how it is going. Today was not a great day for our spin group. We did not start well today but gradually we will start working. Like I said, we played the two matches to assess the condition which is probably different,” he opined.
Rookie left-arm spinner Ashton Agar was clobbered for 78 runs in 13 overs and Doherty defended the youngster terming it as a “learning experience for him.”
“I guess it was a step up in class today for Ashton with three spinners down in the middle. Probably, Ashton struggled more compared to us as he is the youngest in the group. It is a great learning experience for him. It is a great opportunity for him to bowl against class players.”
Doherty admitted that the line and length was in disarray once Gambhir and Rohit started taking the spinners.
“Our spinners really did struggle when those two guys were coming hard at us. It is a pretty good wicket and very fast and possible 30 or 40 runs would have been par for the day.”
When asked if Nathan Lyon can take a cue from the performance of Graeme Swann, Doherty said,”It is not going to work as you would have seen Nathan is not that type and he does not bowl fast. It might work for someone else but he is not going to change his game. I think something we got to look at throughout the series and that is the best way to do it.”
Doherty said that among the trio, he was the quickest through the air.
“I think amongst the three spinners who bowled, I was the quickest. It comes to me naturally. Throughout my career, I have been slightly faster than other spinners. I being little bit shorter than the other two, probably was able to dig at batsmen to play more of the backfoot. Mine was more about skidding through while the other two got turn and bounce.”
Having picked three wickets on the opening day, the obvious question of his Test team selection popped up but he was non-committal.
“I am not so sure. It was nice to get couple (three) of wickets. For Test selection, we have got plenty more work to do in training sessions besides this match before I start looking at what the line-up will be.”
The 30-year-old, who has played two Tests and 43 ODIs also didn’t give in to the queries about whether Aussies will be going in with a two-spin attack.
“We have got plenty of options. We have got 18 people here now. Maxwell or Lyon or myself when it comes to spin. I imagine that some stage there will be two spinners in our side. It is for someone else to answer.”