Bengaluru Test: Me, Starc were 'too wide', admits Hazlewood

Bengaluru (Karnataka)[India], Mar. 6 (ANI): Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood on Monday conceded that he and his senior partner Mitchell Starc were 'too wide' and did not land enough balls on the line of the stumps to make best use of the variable bounce on offer on the third day of the second Test against India here at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Hazlewood took three wickets before Tea on Day 3 to help Australia reduce India to 120 for four and the touring side looked favourites to take a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

However, Cheteshwar Pujara (79*) and Ajinkya Rahane (40*) shared an unbeaten 93-run stand for the fifth wicket to resurrect the innings after losing the first four wickets for 120 runs. At Stumps on Day 3, India were 213 for four, leading Australia by 126 runs.

"The quicks were still too wide, I think with the odd ball shooting through and that up and down bounce you need to be a bit straighter," Hazlewood told the media.

"I think the spinners bowled really well again and Garry (Nathan Lyon) was quite unlucky in terms of a few of those balls around the gloves.

He admitted that the visiting pacers were outbowled by their Indian counterparts Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav in the ongoing Test.

"The plans are pretty simple but sometimes they're hard to execute. You've got to bowl stump-to-stump, the Indian quicks bowled really well for the majority of yesterday and I think we can still improve on today," he said.

Speaking about the present situation of the match, the 26-year-old said: "It feels pretty level at the moment."

"They fought back really well in that last session. Credit to the two guys. They fought hard and scratched away for quite a bit of runs," he added.

Earlier, Rahul (51), who top-scored with 90 in first innings, put on 45 with Pujara after Abhinav Mukund (16) was bowled by Hazlewood just after lunch.

The Karnataka batsman batted with intent during his 85-ball knock and tried to take the attack to the Australian bowlers as and when he got the opportunity.

The host's only disappointment was over skipper Virat Kohli being given out LBW after a DRS review proved inconclusive whether he had bottom-edged on to the pad.

The Virat Kohli-led side, which is currently trailing the four-match series 0-1, would be aiming to at least set a target of close to 200 to send jitters into the Australian camp, and seeing the condition of the pitch, that would definitely give Steve Smith and Co. nightmares. (ANI)