- Leading up to the keenly anticipated India Australia Test Cricket series, there were excited talks about how both teams are evenly balanced rendering the prospects of mouth-watering contests between the two highly competitive sides befitting the billing the bilateral series got ratcheted up. True connoisseurs of the game were salivating at the predictions of top-class exchanges between the bat and the ball wherein the star-studded lineups expected to square-off be presenting no less than scintillating stuff. The high-profile series could not have come at an opportune time as the pandemic fatigue induced cricket lovers were looking forward with bated breath.
PC: CRICKETNEXT STAFF
- The setup could not have been better than the day-night fixture with the pink ball in the picturesque Adelaide kicking-off the first Test match. Alas, what turned out on a promising note as Indian bowlers ensured a lead of 53 runs in the first innings petered out in no time with the much-vaunted Indian batting lineup coming a cropper in one forgettable session on day three. Skittled out for a paltry 36 in the second innings is not only a shocking display of spineless batting from the Indian side but also would severely scare the psyche of the team for the remainder of the series. Not a single batsman crossed double-digit.
- This is India’s lowest score in 88 years of playing Test cricket and it is a shocker not expected from the present Indian team who are generally considered a very competitive traveler, unlike earlier teams. Remember, Team India won the last bilateral series in Australia quite comprehensively thereby establishing a template for an aggressive brand of cricket that Virat Kohli is so fond of showcasing. An aura that was gaining ground around Team India stands eroded considerably with such a horrific display of skillsets that too frittering away advantages gained in a couple of sessions is hard to fathom.
- Apart from poor batting display, what is most appalling is to watch rank sitters being dropped by the butter-fingered fielders that allowed Australians to put up a reasonable score in the first innings. Otherwise, the lead could have been more substantial helping to mount further pressure on the Aussies. Abject capitulation by the Indian batsmen is inexplicable as there was no devil in the pitch or conditions but for an accurate and top-class fast bowling exhibition by the Aussie speedsters. Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins were simply superb relentless in executing their plans to skittle out the opposite batsmen.
- Whatever the reasons, as Kohli lamented about collective lack of intent for the debacle, there cannot be any excuses forthcoming from the top professionals for failing to put up a semblance of a fight. With the Indian captain not available for the remainder of the series, it will be an onerous task for the team to not only thwart the rampaging Aussies from rolling over us but also make a match of it to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, if not win the same. Testing times await Team India to prove their mettle.