India vs Australia: Aussies augment after hosts collapse
Pune: It was the worst batting exhibition by India in the recent times as they were wrapped up for just 105 runs in reply to Australia's modest first inning score of 260/10 in the inaugural Test of the four-match series at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Friday.
At Stumps on Day 2, with Australia having a huge lead of 298 runs, the match seemed to have got its result, which would go in favour of the visiting team sooner or later, although, Cricket is the game of uncertainties and the match can go either way, if considered as an Indian fan.
Aussie skipper Steven Smith (59 off 117) and Mitchell Marsh (21 off 48) are still batting at the crease and have extended team's total up to 143/4, with 6 wickets in hand and three days of play still remaining.
India's most reliable spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin, has been the only impressive bowler in this inning so far as he has bagged three of the total four wickets fallen. Jayant Yadav, however, succeeded in breaking the blooming partnership between Smith and Matt Renshaw, which added 52 runs for the 4th wicket before the later departed at the individual score of 31 runs.
Ashwin sent David Warner (10) back on the final ball of the very first over of the inning after being hit for 10 runs. In the seventh over, he got the wicket of Shaun Marsh, who was promoted up in the order. Shaun failed to open his account even after facing 21 deliveries.
Peter Handscomb (19) started of nicely but failed to capitalise and became the sixth scalp of Ashwin in the match.
Earlier in the day, Australia got all out for 260 runs as Mitchell Starc departed after scoring 61 runs off just 63 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes. India, in reply, kept losing its wickets at regular intervals and registered one of its biggest batting collapses till date by being wrapped up for mere 105 runs.
The collapse was well written by a magnificent 6-wicket haul by Steve O’Keefe who took his last five wickets off just 19 deliveries. Opener Lokesh Rahul, however, showed a lot of grit and scored 64 runs off 97 balls with 10 fours and a six, which was not enough to take India to a respectable total due to almost no support from the other end.
India, to every Indian fan's shock, lost its last seven wickets for mere 11 runs, to fall 155 runs short of what the Kangaroo team had piled up on the scoreboard.
Well, India now needs some extraordinary efforts with ball and bat, both to at least give some fight to the visitors.