Australia Test captain Pat Cummins has said that he couldn’t have done anything differently in the drawn Test against Pakistan in Karachi. However, the number one Test bowler admitted that a couple of missed catches could have made the difference.
Australia dropped at least five catches in Pakistan’s second innings, falling three wickets short of a memorable victory. The home side survived more than 170 overs in the fourth innings as captain Babar Azam and keeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan scored scintillating centuries.
Cummins, who will lead his troops in Lahore for the series decider, said he would have taken a 0-0 after two Tests at the start of the series. Nevertheless, the right-arm speedster said he have done anything different than what he did, as he expected the Karachi deck to deteriorate further.
He said, as quoted by Perth Now:
“Coming over here in these conditions, at the start of the series. if you had said it’s going to be nil-all after two games, we would probably take that. In terms of the tactics, I think overall I wouldn’t change too much, to be honest.”
“Batting into day three gave us that chance to really have a crack at them on day three – it probably went better than we expected. But over here, the wickets are pretty good. We carved up two and a half days of the best time on the wicket hoping that it was going to break up on day four and five.”
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon got rid of Babar Azam and Faheem Ashraf off consecutive deliveries. The veteran also removed Sajid Khan, but Australia fell just short of victory.
“In foreign conditions, we are showing that we are adapting quite well” – Pat Cummins
Cummins rued the dropped chances on the field but lauded his team for adapting to the conditions. At the same time, the 28-year old felt it was a missed opportunity. He said:
“If we took a couple of those catches it might have been a different scenario. I thought we gave ourselves a really good opportunity in this Test match, especially after the first three innings of the game. I was really proud and happy about how our team played.”
“In foreign conditions, we are showing that we are adapting quite well. But, of course, getting so close and not coming out with a result can feel like it’s a missed opportunity.”
Cummins’ decision not to enforce the follow-on despite Australia holding a 408-run lead after Pakistan’s first innings drew criticism. The tourists set Pakistan 506 to win after batting for around 35 minutes on day four.
The third Test begins in Lahore on Monday, March 21.