Chennai: Young Australian pacer James Pattinson today said that he tried to attack Sachin Tendulkar with a barrage of bouncers but with the veteran Indian batsman picking him early, he had to change the plan on the second day of the first cricket Test here.
Tendulkar, who showed glimpses of his vintage form in his knock of 71 on the second day, hit two glorious fours off the first two balls he faced from Pattinson and clobbered another majestic boundary off the fourth ball.
Asked about the treatment meted out to him by Tendulkar, the 22-year-old Australian said the initial onslaught from the senior Indian player forced him to change his plan. "My early plan to Sachin was to try and bounce a little more. Changed that plan in last minute. It was a mistake there. I think I should have gone with the first plan. Sachin is a fantastic player and it looked like he had a lot of time out there compared to other batters," Pattinson said after at the press conference after second day's play.
"It's quite a daunting task bowling to him and looking at him he was at his class today and batted fantastically. When I bowl to him and other players, he picks the ball quite early and places it quite easily. Hopefully we will be successful tomorrow. His wicket is always prize scalp." he said.
Pattinson said the ball was reversing quite early, not swinging conventionally and that played a part in his decision to drop the plan of attacking the Indian top order with bouncers.
"The ball was reversing quite early and never swinging conventionally. I tried some stuff like that it worked well. I wanted to challenge Sewag but went little bit wide and again changed the plan half way through. Being young you seem to make mistakes and perhaps you learn to better your plans," he said.
At stumps today, India were 182 for three in reply to Australia's 380 all out, and Pattinson said that tomorrow will be crucial day and his side would look to grab two home side wickets early on.
"If we get two wickets, we will be close to 200 runs in front. Two wickets tomorrow is big case for us," said Pattinson who returned with figures of three for 25 runs from the six overs he bowled today.
Asked if he was under-bowled by his captain as he was allowed only three overs in his first spell, Pattinson said. "I am returning after injury lay off. I think Mitchell (Starc) was bowling fantastic and good swings. With two right handers playing, I don't think there's any difference whether I bowled fourth over. Hopefully, save few things for tomorrow.
"As for wicket for pace bowlers, I think there is enough there. If you try bang the wicket and try putting some pace there is enough there for bouncers and there is little bit of reverse as the ball was quite soft, which does not help us."
Asked if he was able to create some psychological pressure on Indian batters, Pattinson said, "I do not think so, since they are world class team. I love the challenge while bowling to Sehwag and Tendulkar. I love challenges and playing against some good players. Look, I am lucky to have had some success today against India.
Pattinson said on such wickets length of delivery was crucial to put the batsmen in two minds whether to come forward or go backfoot. "Yesterday when Ashwin claimed the wickets of Watson and Warner, the ball kept low even in spinners' standard. Even today, in Sehwag's wicket, the ball hurried on a little bit and the one that Pujara got out. I think it is about lengths. Ashwin bowled a fantastic length yesterday.
"Going about a couple of days here it is massive about the lengths that you bowl. The best way to go about it in this pitch is that you put the batsmen in two minds whether to come in front or go back to combat. That is the best way about it," Pattinson said.
Asked if right-arm off-spinner Nathan Lyon was the weak link in the Australian team, Pattinson said, "Probably the field that we set was quite defensive. We know the Indians would like to score fours. I think he bowled quite well. Probably, he went the odd ball for fours. I think it was quite a good day and we made inroads.
"One thing is that if you get wickets, it can happen quite fast. He bowled really well and probably, if he had Sachin out for him, it would have gone either way. The LBW decision. It is first day on the tour and he will better with each day on."
On Starc's bowling, he said, "He is a fantastic bowler and plan is to hit stumps and go for LBW decisions. And from round the wicket, he had more such chances. He was fantastic going away with the right hander coming in. That is his main strength and he is doing that," said Pattinson.
"Whether he would come over the wicket and it would have changed, I am not sure. Clarke is a fantastic captain and he has done right so far whatever he has done. Hopefully, it will be nice to clean up the tail."