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Pitch at MCG more suitable for India batsmen, believes ex-Australia coach Darren Lehmann

Lehmann said that it will come down to the visiting batsmen, who would be required to cope with the bounce as their pacers can cause trouble.

SNS | New Delhi |

Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann believes that the track at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) – the venue for the second Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series – will suit India more because of its flat nature.

The second Test between India and Australia will start on December 26 at the MCG, with the hosts leading the series 1-0.

“It will be hard now for them, but they’ve actually got some quality players if they can get on a roll,” Lehmann told ‘SA Sportsday’.

Australia last week registered brilliant 8-wicket win over India in the first Test of the four-match series at the Adelaide Oval after the bowlers had bundled the visitors for a meager total of 35 runs in the second innings.

Chasing the target of 90 runs, Australia reached the total in just 21 overs on Day 3 of the pink-ball Test. Opener Joe Burns remained unbeaten on 51 off 63 balls.

Starting the innings with a 53-run lead, India lost nine wickets in just 27 runs in the first session on Day 3 of the pink-ball Test. Mohammed Shami, the No. 11 batsman, retired hurt and could not bat.

Josh Hazlewood (5/8) and Pat Cummins (4/21) with their fiery spells have now given Australia a complete control over the Day-Night fixture. The hosts need to chase 90 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

Adding salt to the injury, India will be without the service of their captain Virat Kohli and ace fast bowler Mohammed Shami but Lehmann said that it will come down to the visiting batsmen, who would be required to cope with the bounce as their pacers can cause trouble.

“They can certainly cause some trouble with the ball, it’s just whether the batsmen can cope with the bounce. The MCG pitch will suit them a bit better because it’s a bit flatter,” Lehmann, who played for Australia between 1996 and 2005, further said.

“So we’ll see if their batsmen can bounce back and make some runs, especially in the first innings. That’s going to be the key for them.”