Australia ‘very high pace’ in second Test capitulation, says captain Pat Cummins | Australian cricket team

Captain Pat Cummins admitted Australia went “too high a pace” in a stunning capitulation as they lost the second Test in Delhi in three days. The defeat meant Australia’s hopes of winning a Test series in India for the first time in 19 years ended in less than six days of cricket, crushed twice by a ruthless Indian spin attack.

While they never got into the contest in the opening Test in Nagpur, at the Arjun Jaitley Stadium the tourists started day three with the advantage but were let down by tea. Australia’s 48-9 collapse was their third-worst in the third innings of a Test, behind the famous collapse in Cape Town in 2011 (36-9) and a match against a World XI in 2005 (47-9). when the country won the gold generation was already in a winning position.

Cummins’ team had plans to attack Ravi Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin but they fizzled out in a nightmare fashion as several batters fell victim to the sweep shot. Jadeja could only laugh when asked after the match whether it was a good idea to try to sweep his bowling.

“I’m probably as much to blame as anybody there,” Cummins said. “Two big things we talk about is the pace of the game and the method. Maybe sometimes a bit too fast paced. I’d rather be high than low if these wickets are tough, but maybe the method has strayed a bit from what we were planning to do at times.”

Australia dominated for periods of the Test and looked to have a serious chance of handing India their first defeat at the Arun Jaitley Stadium since 1987. They managed 263 in their first innings, which looked solid as India collapsed to 139-7 in reply . But pace bowlers Axar Patel and Ashwin rescued their side with a 114-run eighth-wicket stand to help Australia leave with just one run to spare.

“Looking back, 300 would have been fantastic,” Cummins said. “260 was OK, but if we really want to gain the advantage, we were a little short.”

Australia traveled to India as the world’s No. 1 Test team but are still not guaranteed a place in this year’s World Test Championship final if they lose the series 4-0. They can’t reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy from here, but they can lock their place in the WTC decider at Lord’s.

“Absolutely, it’s still a must-draw series,” Cummins said. “It would be an amazing effort here in India. So that’s all we still have to play for.”

Former captain Alan Border expressed his dismay at the tourists’ collapse, saying he was “disappointed” and “shocked” by the nature of the collapse.

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“I’m angry about the way they did it today,” he said. “It was a panicky, frantic kind of batting … nobody got in there to stem the flow with some good defensive cricket. Everyone was just coming out playing sweep shot, reverse sweep on almost every ball. You can’t get away from that on this kind of track. You have to have a method.”

Former all-rounder Matthew Hayden, who starred during Australia’s 2001 tour of India, was also stunned by the debacle.

“These are world-class players and they have everything to win and everything to lose in this session,” Hayden said in commentary. “They did so well yesterday afternoon in those few overs. But what we have seen here is a disaster for Australia. They have pushed the limits in terms of their attacking play.”

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