Left arm pacer James Faulkner may have made the Australian side on the back of his bowling performances, but it was for his whirlwind batting that he won his first man-of-the-match award. The 30 runs he clobbered off Ishant Sharma in the 48th over of the chase propelled him to the third-fastest fifty ever by a batsman coming in at No. 8. Maybe it was because he is foremost a bowler, but Faulkner, who bats right-handed, said he had some sympathies for Ishant Sharma.
“There is always pressure to bowl at that stage. I know that as I have bowled at the death a few times for Australia...There are going to be days when you (a bowler) would look silly out there, and that has happened to me a lot of times, don’t worry about that,” Faulkner said. “But there are also other times when you might bowl a good over and win a game for your team, that’s cricket,” he added.
He also said he had decided to go after the pacers because he felt it would be risky to swing Ravichandran Ashwin’s carom-ball against the turn into the leg side.
“I didn’t feel I could get Ashwin over the long boundary, with his carom balls,” Faulkner. “I thought the only way we could win the game is to take on the medium pacers down from the other end and try and take 20 off each over...that was our only chance to be honest,” he said.
‘Kick in the guts’
Faulkner said it was imperative that Australia did not let the big loss in Australia get to them.
“It was a kick in the guts, the second game in Jaipur. To score 360 and have them chase down the total was really disappointing. We knew we had to bounce back with a good game and now we are 2-1 up in the series. It’s going to be a really tough contest for the next four games,” he said.