The Indian batsmen were once again humiliated in their third consecutive innings against the Australians, after they were bowed out in the first innings for just 189 at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore during the second test. Captain Virat Kohli won the toss much to his delight and had no hesitation deciding to bat first on a wicket that was unlike the Pune pitch and according to Kohli would play good for the first three days before starting to turn.
The Indians made a forced change to their opening combination due to M Vijay’s shoulder injury and his replacement A Mukund did not trouble the scorers after falling to M Starc. The pitch certainly did not have any demons in it like the Pune pitch but the Indians kept losing wickets at regular intervals and never looked to be in command at point of time. Pujara made 17 runs at a strike rate of just 25 and struggled to rotate the strike to the inform K Rahul which slowed down the innings and helped the Aussies to assert themselves. Pujara’s running between the wicket also has to be mentioned as he routinely turns down easy singles and when he does run, the opposition always have a chance at one end or the other.
It was Stephen O’Keefe who ran through the Indians during the Bangalore test but this time around it was the turn for the off-spinner Nathan Lyon who struck by getting the key wicket of Kohli. For some strange reason, Kohli after speaking to K Rahul decided to go the DRS way and review a decision which looked absolutely plumb. India’s use of the DRS continues to be horrendous and Kohli’s look of disbelief did not help the confidence of the remaining batsman. Vice-captain A Rahane who has been under pressure after a poor run with the bat once again got out to a spinner this season and his place in the side will be under scrutiny for the next test yet again.
Lyon turned up the heat with some great control and Captain Steven Smith gave him a great field that allowed him to run through the tail which in the past had wagged and saved India from embarrassment on a number of occasions. Lyon finished the first innings with figures of 22.4 overs, 50 runs and 8 wickets – putting in a performance that will silence his critics back home.
India look in trouble in the second test as well and if they allow the Aussies to take a lead of more than 50, Indian could go 2-0 down in the series.