Cricket

India vs Australia: Visitors succumb to their lowest total in Tests as Aussies register emphatic 8-wicket win

  • Press Trust of India
  • December 19th, 2020
  • 16:40:16 IST

Adelaide: The Indian cricket team under Virat Kohli faced its worst hour of embarrassment while collapsing to its lowest Test score of 36 as a rampaging Australia cruised to an emphatic eight-wicket victory inside two and half days in the opening Day/Night Test on Saturday.

Once night-watchman Jasprit Bumrah (2) was out in the first over, Hazlewood and Cummins (10.2-4-21-4), literally decimated the tourists and also caused lasting damage to their pride. AFP

Once night-watchman Jasprit Bumrah (2) was out in the first over, Hazlewood and Cummins (10.2-4-21-4), literally decimated the tourists and also caused lasting damage to their pride. AFP

There were no demons in the pitch but Josh Hazlewood (5-3-8-5) and Patrick Cummins (10.2-4-21-4) displayed fast bowling of highest quality to dismantle the visitors.

The sequence of 4, 9, 2, 0, 4, 0, 8, 4, 0, 4, and 1 on the scorecard will rankle the fans but more so this team, for a very long time.

"Very hard to put those feelings into words. We had a lead of 60-odd coming and just collapsed," said Kohli, who would be heading home on paternity leave now.

India's earlier lowest score was 42 at the Lord's in 1974 against England, known in Indian cricket parlance as the "Summer of 42". Saturday's total was also the lowest score in the brief history of D/N Tests and the joint fifth lowest overall.

The easy target of 90 runs was achieved by the home side in only 21 overs without much fuss.

They only lost Matthew Wade (33) and Marnus Labuschagne (6) in pursuit of the easy goal and in the process, opener Joe Burns (51) got a confidence-boosting half century.

The home team collected 30 World Test Championship points from the win, while its skipper Tim Paine was adjudged player of the match for his gritty first innings knock of 73.

"I said this morning in the media that both these attacks have the ability to take quick wickets. Didn't expect them to come this quick," said Paine, grinning from ear to ear after the rather remarkable triumph.

India have now lost three successive Tests well inside three days with two being in New Zealand earlier this year.

To make matters worse for the visitors, star pacer Mohammed Shami's series could well be over due to a wrist injury from a short ball from Pat Cummins, which could potentially be a fracture. Shami could not continue and the Indian innings was terminated at 36 for 9 in 21.2 overs.

The likes of Sunil Gavaskar and the late Ajit Wadekar had long carried the baggage of that English Summer, inarguably one of the worst in the annals of Indian cricket. It will now be replaced by the "Summer of 36".

Call it irony, but just like Gavaskar then, a modern day great like Virat Kohli will have this bit of avoidable history in his legacy, a day when one could hardly figure out what went wrong.

At one stage, India were reduced to 26 for 8 and looked like equalling the lowest ever Test score (26 by New Zealand vs England ) but Hanuma Vihari's boundary helped them evade entry into the dark pages of cricketing history.

The Indian batting was completely exposed by the extra bounce generated by Australian pacers, who bowled every delivery on the off-middle channel after landing on the seam.

In an inexplicable collapse, India's much vaunted batsmen fell like nine pins with not a single one able to reach double figures.

Once nightwatchman Jasprit Bumrah (2) was out in the first over, Hazlewood and Cummins (10.2-4-21-4), literally decimated the tourists and also caused lasting damage to their pride.

The likes of Mayank Agarwal (9), Cheteshwar Pujara (0) and Ajinkya Rahane (0) were all out in similar fashion.

All the deliveries were almost identical, angled in, which forced the batsmen to jab at them and just bounced a wee bit more. They deviated a shade taking outside edges to Tim Paine behind the stumps.

Kohli (4) was dismissed in the manner he used to get out in England back in 2014, trying to drive a delivery on the fifth stump and caught at gully.

To sum it up, the Indian batsmen failed to factor in the pitch suddenly becoming more livelier with extra bounce.

The two Australian pacers bowled deliveries that the visiting batsmen had to play and the ultra-defensive mindset that they carried from the first innings didn't help their cause.

Never has a Test match changed so dramatically in an hour's play like it did at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

Worse, a collapse like this could effect the performance in the next Test match at the MCG, beginning 26 December, and not to forget they won't have a Kohli to look up to as he would be on paternity leave.

Ajinkya Rahane, the captain in waiting, has been in wretched form for the longest time and one would prefer to discount his hundred against a below-par West Indies attack in the interim.

Even the South Africa attack at home wasn't the best in the business.

Prithvi Shaw's confidence is in shambles in terms of both technique and temperament. Mayank Agarwal, with that pronounced back-lift and a dodgy technique against deliveries with extra bounce, will also have his share of problems.

Cheteshwar Pujara's defensive batting worked well in 2018 but this time, there is propensity to get stuck as Shane Warne, during commentary, pointed out at his inability to rotate the strike.

As much as one romanticises that 43 off 160 balls as a display of pristine Test cricket but that lack of runs in the first two sessions also came back to bite India hard.

Updated Date: December 19, 2020 16:40:16 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

India vs Australia: 'Peak of rowdy behaviour', Virat Kohli responds to Indian team facing racist abuse in Sydney
First Cricket News

India vs Australia: 'Peak of rowdy behaviour', Virat Kohli responds to Indian team facing racist abuse in Sydney

On Saturday and Sunday, Siraj and senior bowler Jasprit Bumrah were allegedly subjected to multiple abuses including racist slurs like "Brown Dog" and "Big Monkey", which led to eviction and subsequent arrest of six Australian spectators.

India vs Australia 3rd Test preview: Under pressure Aussie batsmen seeks answers against visitors' disciplined bowling
First Cricket News

India vs Australia 3rd Test preview: Under pressure Aussie batsmen seeks answers against visitors' disciplined bowling

Australia will be bolstered by the return of David Warner, while India will hope for Rohit Sharma to provide solid start. With the series locked at 1-1, there's lot to play for in Sydney for both teams.

India vs Australia: Tim Paine's days as Aussie skipper are numbered, won't be surprised if he is sacked, says Sunil Gavaskar
First Cricket News

India vs Australia: Tim Paine's days as Aussie skipper are numbered, won't be surprised if he is sacked, says Sunil Gavaskar

Paine's dropped catches played a key role in the partnership of Hanuma Vihari (23 not out off 161) and Ravichandran Ashwin (39 not out off 128), who batted for more than 42 overs for a 62-run stand to save the Test.