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Australia offspinner Nathan Hauritz has said he was disappointed at being ignored by Ricky Ponting in the eventful post-lunch session on the fifth day of the Mohali Test, but admitted he had lost the "right" for a bowl after an unthreatening spell before the break when he tried to experiment with his lines.
"I have been working on a few different things, to try to attack the stumps a little bit more from a wider angle," Hauritz told AAP. "Generally I've been a little bit tighter towards the stumps throughout my career, and we just spoke about trying to get the ball at a wider angle, sort of like what Harbhajan [Singh] does, trying to get the ball to drift in, instead of drifting away. That stuffed me around a little bit with my body and my rhythm."
Ponting began the day with Hauritz, and the offspinner made the first breakthrough when he had Zaheer Khan edging a delivery landed well outside the off stump into the slips. In his next over, however, the new man VVS Laxman picked easy boundaries through the off side to kickstart what proved to be a match-winning innings. This after Sachin Tendulkar had driven the first ball of the over for four down the ground.
"A couple of balls there were steady, not outstanding, and Sachin drove straight past me or through midwicket for four, and it's tough to bowl at, no word of a lie," Hauritz said. "I guess that's what was so disappointing in the second innings, and I think that came about because I was trying different things which, in hindsight, I should never have tried. Cricket is supposed to be a very simple game and I tried to make it more complicated."
Hauritz was immediately taken off the attack and bowled only three more overs in the game, with Ponting turning to part-timer Marcus North as Australia desperately looked for the last two wickets. "Punter [Ponting] needed to get wickets and he obviously didn't think I was the right guy. That's what it came down to and I can't change that.
"What I learned was to consistently work on what works well, and once you don't work on those things you put more pressure on yourself, and in the end it created problems," said Hauritz, adding that he would return to more familiar lines during the second Test.
Australia came within a wicket of winning in Mohali, with Pragyan Ojha surviving a close lbw call when India needed six runs. Even as Australia appealed, Steven Smith missed the stumps with Ojha out of the crease and conceded four overthrows. "It was such a weird feeling being out there because we were all just willing and willing and willing to get that wicket," Hauritz said as he relived the finish. "I was at backward square-leg when that last appeal went up, and young Stevie threw at the stumps.
"There was only me and someone at mid-on on the leg side, and I was appealing, running in because it was almost like Billy [umpire Billy Bowden] didn't shake his head or anything, it seriously felt like he was going to give it out. And then when he didn't the next thing I saw the ball go that way and I was like 'oh'."