Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Australia Destroy India Batting In Adelaide Pink-Ball Test To Go 1-0 Up!

Ashwin's Laugh of  Frustration?

Australia have won the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Series defeating India by 8 wickets inside three days in Adelaide which had been the first ever d/n pink-ball match between the two teams, and the hosts lead the series 1-0 with the second Test starting on the Boxing day, that is from the 26th of December in Melbourne.

 

Last night at stumps it had been advantage India with a lead of 53 runs that seemed to be crucial and 9/1 as the night watchman Jasprit Bumrah saw off the day successfully. A very exciting third day’s play was anticipated with the Indian batting depth promising to score sufficient runs to corner the hosts who would be batting last. However, the very first hour of the ‘morning’ session destroyed India batting thoroughly as the visitors ended up with the their lowest ever test score of an unbelievable 36, the previous lowest being 42 against England in England in 1974. It was not simply that the Aussie pacers bowled incredibly well and were unplayable. They did bowl furiously dot on length and seam no doubt, but as skipper Virat Kohli pointed out later on there was a lack of intent on the part of the batsmen. Four wickets fell at the score stuck at 15 for over half an hour, and it was all over when Kohli too followed suit at 19/6. It had all been edges outside the off stump flying behind to the wicket-keeper or the slips. Not a single ‘famed’ batsman showed a resolve to stick on and score runs.

 

It was actually a great opportunity lost, because even a total score of 150 would have been competitive for the Aussies batting last. The Indian pacers and the lone spinner Ashwin bowled very well in the Australian first innings restricting the hosts to 191 despite all the fielding lapses and gave their team a lead of 53 precious runs. In the Indian first innings too, the total could very well have crossed the 300-mark had skipper Kohli not been run out under very unfortunate circumstances. A repeat of the Adelaide match in December 2018 when India won by 31 runs was a distinct probability this time too. But it was not to be.

 


The hosts added more humiliation to the visitors by making a perfect mockery of the target of 90 by romping home in style and in good time. Wade and Burns scored freely to build a partnership of 70 runs before the former was run out. Burns scored a half century and he was the only wicket claimed by the Indian bowlers, namely Ashwin. For the hosts Cummins and Starc captured 7 wickets each in the match while Hazelwood got 4 scalps. In totality, the pink ball did not display any special favors for the seamers with some the commentators saying that in a pink ball the seam remains visible for the batsmen which is an advantage for them.

 

As the Indian skipper Kohli goes home, probably two days in advance now, the upcoming test matches pose a huge challenge for Team India. Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal and the would-be stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane continue to fail miserably despite their active participation in the IPL, and their replacements do not look practical at the moment. Either of KL Rahul or Rohit Sharma could replace Kohli for the next three Tests. However, KL Rahul could be seriously considered for replacing Shaw with Rohit included in the team. Cheteshwar Pujara, the hero of the 2018-19 Series and taken out from the wilderness of more than a year, has performed reasonably well in the first innings and is going to be the key for the next matches. The bowlers are in top form and eager to go for the kill, only the support of the batsmen can make them win matches. 

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