Bengaluru: India's lone performer of the Lokesh Rahul is hopeful that premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin would be able to match Nathan Lyon's performance on a track that has crumbled on the first day itself.
Rahul stood tall amidst ruins as Lyon grabbed 8 for 50 in India's meagre total of 189 on the first day of the second Test.
"We know Ash (Ashwin) is a top class bowler and once he gets a couple of wickets and gets into that rhythm, then he is going to run through the Australian batting line-up, which we are very confident of," Rahul said at the post-match media conference.
Rahul also said that Ravindra Jadeja can also prove to be handful if he can use the roughs as effectively as Lyon has done.
"Jadeja didn't get to bowl a lot today but like Lyon, he too has a lot of rough to bowl on to the left-handers outside the off-side stump. If he can come in and bowl consistently on the rough, we will get a lot of wicket," he said.
Rahul said the cracks are opening up and its only getting harder to bat on this wicket.
Rahul said that the wicket was pretty much similar to the one that they get while playing for Karnataka in Ranji Trophy games but cracks open up a bit during domestic games.
"I think this is a pretty much the same wicket we get for Ranji Trophy. May be the cracks start to open up at the end of the second day or the third day. But here the wicket was pretty dry and the cracks were prominent there. Their bowlers, especially when Starc bowls from over the wickets, he creates that rough for Lyon which helps them get that spin and bounce," he said.
Rahul was feeling his shoulders a lot but said there was no point taking a medical break.
"Medical treatment at that time wouldn't have really done a lot of good for me. So I looked to continue and tried to play a few shots which didn't go my way," said the younsgter, who missed out on a well-deserved 100.
"I had to look to get as many runs as I can with the last two batsmen there. That was the stroke which was giving me a bit of a problem in Pune. So I had to restrict that shot, but in the last few overs I had to look to take that chance and risk which i knew would give me some pain. But medical treatment at that time wouldn't have really done a lot of good for me. So I looked to continue and tried to play a few shots which didn't go my way," he said.
Rahul observed that dampness in the pitch contributed Lyon getting turn.
"Initially, the new ball was coming onto the bat really well. Once the spinners came on, I felt that the wicket was a little damp during the first session. That's why they were getting some spin and the ball was holding to the wicket. To drive or to go over the top wasn't really easy," he said.