Sachin remained unbeaten on 71 at the close and hit three boundaries in Pattinson’s first four balls to wrest the momentum. “My plan early on was to try and bounce it a little more to Sachin… But I changed that plan at the 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 the other batters. It is quite a daunting task bowling to him… And looking at him, he was at his classiest today and batted fantastically,” the fast bowler said.
“The ball was reversing quite early and it was never swinging conventionally… I tried some stuff and it worked well. I wanted to challenge (Virender) Sehwag, but went little bit wide and again changed the plan half way through. Being young, you seem to be making some mistakes and perhaps that’s how you learn to better your plans,” he explained.
The 23-year-old knows that dismissing Sachin will be the key on the third morning.
“Obviously, Sachin’s is the prize wicket. I think when he walks in, he has got a lot of time to play his shots... He picks the ball quite early and places it quite easily. Hopefully, we will be successful on Sunday.”
Did he manage to create any psychological pressure with two quick wickets? “I do not think so… They are a world-class team. I just love the challenge and bowling to Sehwag and Tendulkar. I love playing against some good players. Look, I am lucky to have had some success today against India,” he said.
Does he think he was under-bowled despite bowling in short spells? “First, (Mitchell) Starc was bowling very well… Hopefully, we wanted to save a few things for the third day. As for the help for the pace bowlers from the wicket, I think there is enough. If you try putting some pace, there is enough for bouncers and there is a little bit of reverse as well… The ball was quite soft, which does not help us. If we get two wickets, it will be a big help,” he explained.
“I am returning after an injury lay off… I think Starc is bowling fantastic and getting good swing. With two right-handers playing, I do not think it would have made any difference if I bowled another over,” Pattinson added.
Pattinson, in fact, showered praises on Starc. “Mitchell is a fantastic bowler and the plan was to hit the stumps or go for leg-before decisions. And from round the wicket, he had more such chances. That is his main strength and he was doing that. 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 the right thing so far. Hopefully, it will be nice to clean up the tail.”
He didn’t agree that Nathan Lyon was the weak link in their bowling. “Probably the field that we set was quite defensive. We know the Indians would like to score in boundaries. I think he bowled quite well. 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 got Sachin out lbw… The decision could have gone either way. He will be better with each day.”