Mohali: Australian pacer Mitchell Starc said the "flat" Mohali track has made the job tough for the bowlers as close to 700 runs have been scored in two days of play in the third cricket Test, here. Giving a firm reply to Australia's first innings total of 408, India today amassed 283 runs without losing a wicket as debutant Shikhar Dhawan scored a majestic unbeaten 185.
Starc, who himself scored 99 coming at number nine, said the key to success on such wicket was remaining patient and bowling in tandem with a partner. "It's very flat. Obviously, a lot of runs have been scored, 700 odd runs in two days of cricket for ten wickets. It is hard for the bowlers, but I guess it is more about being patient and getting some bowling partnerships in place. Its probably something we did in patches today and it has cost us on the scoreboard," Starc said.
Starc had words of praise for Indian openers -- Dhawan and Murali Vijay (83 batting) -- and said that they would try break the stand. "We just have to break the partnership, take the wickets early on and make some inroads into their batting. They batted well with wicket offering nothing. It's nice to bat on, but Shikhar played well. He batted well, he is dominant on the off side. He's one batsman whom we cant afford to give much width to play his shots. There were times when we were not as much patient as we should have been.
"We will come back tomorrow, re-gather ourselves..and hopefully, put some pressure on them and take some early wickets and have bowling partnerships going," he said. About missing his ton, he said, "I was, obviously disappointed at not getting a hundred. I was hanging around, hoping Steve Smith will get his hundred. Unfortunately, he too didn't get there. I was disappointed at not getting a hundred..hopefully will get a chance to make that one day."
Starc said he enjoyed batting out there but he's more focused on his primarily role of being a bowler. "I have changed my batting plan a little bit in India, chew up more balls and be more patient. I enjoy my batting, work hard at it. Growing up as a kid I was a wicketkeeper. I work hard so that if need be one can go out there and score runs. We put a bit of emphasis on making sure that our tail scores good runs and we did that in this game," he said.
Starc also did not read much into the technical run out of Dhawan early on when at the non-striker's he was found short of crease and a bail was dislodged. "I just lost grip on the ball, I just ran-in..it happened accidentally," he said adding that he was not disappointed at all for not appealing.