India v Australia 2nd Test, Day 1 – 5 Talking Points

India v Australia 2nd Test, Day 1 – 5 Talking Points

Nathan Lyon Australia
Nathan Lyon Australia. (Photo Source: BCCI)

The wicket at Bengaluru bore a look that suggested it would be a good batting wicket at least for the first couple of days before assisting the bowlers from Day 3 on. But right at the start, for Australia Mitchell Starc was able to extract bounce from the wicket and it wasn’t even. Once Nathan Lyon came into the attack and settled into his rhythm it was a different game. Though KL Rahul stuck there and tried his best wickets kept popping at the other end and in 71.2 overs the Indian team was bowled out for just 198 after electing to bat first.

Australia in their response didn’t let the bowlers dominate and David Warner and Matt Renshaw ended the day with 40 runs on the board after 16 overs. The visitors are under some serious pressure now and will want to bounce back early on day 2.

1. Poor start

Team India made a couple of changes in the playing XI, one intentional and a forced. Murali Vijay hurt his shoulder and Abhinav Mukund was making a comeback, to strengthen the batting unit India brought in Karun Nair in place of the third spinner Jayant Yadav.

Mitchell Starc was up and testing the batsmen right from the first over, an attempted full delivery ended up as a full toss and Mukund who tried to tick it down to the on-side missed it and was hit right in front of the wicket to be dismissed lbw for a duck. Making a comeback after 6 years the Tamil Nadu batsman couldn’t even open his account.

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2. Indian batting crumbled

It was Steve O’Keefe in the first Test and here it was his partner Nathan Lyon who inflicted the majority of the damage. Indian batsmen lacked discipline as well as planning. They let the bowlers build pressure and didn’t rotate the strike enough to keep the bowlers adjusting their lines. Cheteshwar Pujara got a start but couldn’t carry on. Virat Kohli once again made an error in judgment and was hit plumb in front.

The middle order didn’t really offer any resistance as the Aussie off-spinner exploited the conditions well. Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who have been amongst runs right through the season failed once again and that saw the team being bowled out for an under par first innings total.

3. KL Rahul the lone warrior

While a lot was happening at the other end Rahul held himself upright. He knew what he had to do on a wicket like this with the ball turning as well as bouncing off the crack. He used the sweep as well as the reverse sweep to get the runs, rotated the strike around and whenever there was an opportunity also crashed the ball into the boundary.

We all know how much he loves to hit the ball long but having gifted his wicket with a lofted shot in the first inning of the Pune Test he didn’t play a single aerial shot in this inning and that showed his determination to do well. Rahul was the only one who converted his start into a substantial score but was the 9th batsman to walk back after scoring 90 runs.

4. Nathan Lion Roared

He saw his partner O’Keefe take the thick load of wickets in the first Test and this time decided to take the role himself. Lyon brought in his experience to play and made the most out of the purchase on offer from the surface. The ball was gripping as well as bouncing but all from just one particular spot on the pitch. Once he realized where he had to pitch the ball to get the best result didn’t try a lot of things and stuck to repeating it with consistency.

The other bowlers complemented him well but the off-spinner ended the Indian inning with an 8-wicket haul, his first in Test cricket and the first by a visiting spinner in India. He finished his spell with figures of 22.2-4-50-8 and put up the best display of finger spin we have seen in the subcontinent by a visiting spinner in a long time.

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5. Australia start strong

Having dismissed the hosts cheaply on the first day it was important for Australia to start well. India started with Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav, while the latter didn’t look in as much control Ishant bowled a good first spell. There was a chance when Warner poked one outside the off-stump but Rahane couldn’t hold onto a tough chance and that was all.

Virat soon brought in his best wicket-taker but Ravi Ashwin couldn’t reflect what Lyon did in the first 6 overs of his spell. Both Warner and Renshaw are unbeaten on 23 and 15 respectively and the Aussies will be really happy with reflection of – 40/0 on the scoreboard.