Darren Lehmann: India will come back pretty hard
The Australian coach Darren Lehmann has predicted India to strike back in the next three Tests after his side managed to stun the hosts in the first Test in Pune by 333 runs.
Lehmann said, “It was India's first loss in a home Test since December 2012. "I think the way we played, we deserved to win by that much at the end, "But they're a quality side and the challenge for our group is to back that performance up in Bangalore.
“We're not getting too far ahead of ourselves. India is a quality side, specially at home, I think that's the first Test they've lost in 20 Test matches so they'll come back fairly hard." Added Lehmann.
Adverse to the predictions produced by most experts, Australia's spin duo of Steve O'Keefe and Nathan Lyon outshone their Indian counterparts with the former picking up a 12-wicket haul. Lehmann found similarities between O'Keefe's performance and Mitchell Johnson's menacing spell in Adelaide against England in the 2013-14 Ashes series.
Johnson ripped through England's batting line-up in that Test to end up with a seven-wicket haul that helped Australia win by 218 runs.
"An exceptional spell - I haven't seen that since Mitchell Johnson in the Ashes with England in Adelaide when he tore them apart," Lehmann observed. "We took 7 for 11 and that obviously turned the game. Twelve-for, 6 for 35 in both innings is pretty special. You always hope don't you, as a player."
The Australian coach was delighted with the efforts of Lyon as well, even though it was O'Keefe who chipped off with the wickets.
Lyon was under pressure from several quarters after failing to create an impact in Sri Lanka last year. "I actually thought Nathan Lyon bowled just as well, to be absolutely fair," he stated. "Nathan's been under pressure from a lot of sources throughout the subcontinent, myself included. I thought he was outstanding in this game. He was brilliant, so both spinners did the job, but Steven was exceptional getting the rewards."
Aside from the spinners, Lehmann reserved praise for Steve Smith, who crafted a hard-fought century in the second innings, that claimed the game off from India.
Lehmann felt that it was Smith's best knock in these conditions. "I guess it's probably his best, especially in those conditions," Lehmann said. "I haven't visited him so determined. He's always seen - he's captain of our land and plays really good, obviously, only he knows conditions on that wicket. To gain a hundred was very peculiar, so that'd have to be in his top few for sure."
The 47-year-old also lauded opener Matt Renshaw's efforts with the bat as 'pretty special'.
The left-hander managed to bat more than 200 deliveries in the Test despite being bothered by a stomach bug. He came up with crucial knocks of 68 in the first innings and followed it up with 31 in the second innings after coming out to bat at No.5. Lehmann is now hopeful of the youngster replicating it in the next Test.