Sydney: He managed to notch up a five-wicket haul but Indian medium pacer Mohammad Shami today said it was tough to bowl on the flat deck here and his team's bowlers should not be criticised for conceding 572 runs to Australia in the ongoing fourth and final cricket Test.
Shami managed figures of five for 112 in the Australian first innings, which closed at 572/7 after which Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul helped India reach 71/1 at close of play.
"It's tough for fast bowlers to bowl on a flat pitch. It is important to maintain your line and length. When it becomes easier for batsmen to play shots, it becomes tough for us," said Shami.
"It's not correct to say that we are struggling. If they are scoring 450-plus runs we too are scoring 400-plus runs. There isn't much difference. All I can say is hard luck.
"Australian bowlers are bowling in their home grounds, so they are used to the conditions here and are aware of what line and length they should be bowling. We tried the same thing but they batted well. So it's all part of the game, sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't," he added.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar played his first Test of the series after recovering from an ankle injury but returned figures of 0-122, looking down on pace for most part of the first two days. Shami, however, denied that his team-mate was not match fit.
"The team is decided based on fitness only. You may have noticed he doesn't have that sort of pace in the first place. He is a line and length bowler and relies on swing. It is such a slow wicket, and if you judge him on his pace then it's not fair to question his fitness," he said.