Australian coach Darren Lehmann said that he has no issues with Captain Steve Smith’s decision to only using Glenn Maxwell for two overs during India’s marathon first innings of the third Test at Ranchi.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha shared a seventh-wicket partnership of 199 in India’s first innings as the visitors failed to take a wicket until after tea on day four of the third test.
Smith chose to go with all-rounder Glenn Maxwell for a balance but only for a handful of overs as all but four overs were taken by the four-spine attack of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Stephen O'Keefe and Nathan Lyon, despite having a few other options in the bowling department.
Lehmann repeated that he had no issue with Smith, who used Maxwell only for two overs against the hosts on Sunday. The Aussie coach told cricketaustralia.au, “I think that’s captain’s call obviously.”
When asked about Maxwell’s light workload, Darren responded, “We did speak about it, chopping and changing (the bowlers) a little bit. The game was always on a knife’s edge so you always want your best spinners going. And we chopped and changed a little bit (but Maxwell) probably could have bowled a few more overs. But I thought the spinners toiled really hard as well so that’s a call the captain makes out there and (we’re) happy with that.”
Former Australian captain and commentator Michael Clarke also questioned Steve Smith’s decision, “Maxwell should definitely have bowled more than two overs. He needs to be given a chance.”
Clarke further added, “On good batting wickets, if you keep doing the same things then you’re going to keep getting the same results. Australia missed a trick yesterday. They were quite defensive with their fields, a new batsman came out and there were three or four guys on the boundary.”