New Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) India coach Gary Kirsten blamed his side's sloppy fielding for letting Australians loose on the fourth day of the third cricket Test.
Indian fielders Saturday dropped five catches to help Australia claw back into the game at Feroz Shah Kotla Saturday. India lead the four-match series 1-0.
The hosts were 43 for two in their second inning and had taken a 79-run lead by the end of the day's play. India had declared its first innings for a mammoth 613 for seven while Australia thanks to a century from Michael Clarke (112) made 577. The Australian deputy made the best use of the three lives that came his way.
'It wasn't a great day for us. The fielding was very poor and it helped Australia to put more that 500 runs on the board,' Kirsten said.
The 40-year-old South African also said that Indian bowlers didn't create much opportunities and felt India sorely missed the services of injured Harbhajan Singh, who could have added some value to the attack.
'The wicket was too good and on such tracks you have to create opportunities. It was not an easy pitch to get wickets but had we created those opportunities, we might have been in a good position,' he said.
'We are 79 ahead now and tomorrow we will bat for another session or two and let's see what happens.'
The coach, however, praised skipper Anil Kumble and Virender Sehewag. Kumble, who claimed his first three wickets of the series Saturday, took the field mid-way through the first session with a heavily strapped left hand, where he received 10 stitches on his little finger. Sehwag , who filled in for him, picked his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests.
'Anil was fantastic. He is a champion cricketer and he showed why he is an incredible asset for the team. Sehwag ,too, proved he is a terrific all-rounder,' he said.
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