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’Australian pacers were ready to bowl last four overs if required’

Sydney, Jan 1: Pacer Josh Hazlewood has said Australia’s fatigued quicks would have bowled out the fil four overs of the third Test against India if summoned by captain Steve Smith.

Australia set India a 384–run target in 70 overs on the fil day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and reduced the visiting team to 142 for six in 55 overs. But they failed to make further inroads and settled for a draw with four overs still left to play, a move that surprised many, considering that one more wicket would have exposed a brittle Indian tail.

Smith later justified his decision saying the pitch was offering little and his bowlers were tired after an exhaustive day at the field.

Hazlewood didn’t disagree with Smith’s decision but said he, Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson were prepared to fight to the finish if required.

“It obviously got right down to the wire, but if we needed to bowl those last four overs, we would have bowled them and if we’d got that one more wicket we know what their last three batsmen are like,” Hazlewood was quoted as saying by on Thursday. “That was always in the back of our mind, just get that last wicket to really crack them open and then you don’t know what can happen. The wicket wasn’t offering too much for spin or pace and they’d shut up shop and were looking pretty solid. We gave it a good crack but didn’t quite get there.” IANS

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Ankur Kalita

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