Adelaide, December 19
The Indian cricket team suffered a mind-boggling batting collapse against top-class fast bowling to be bowled out for 36, India’s lowest-ever score in Tests, losing the first Test against Australia by eight wickets.
Clearly lacking intent and technique against quality pace bowling, India lost eight wickets for 16 runs to fall from 15/1 to 31/9 in a manic afternoon.
The sequence of scores by the Indian batsmen read 4, 9, 2, 0, 4, 0, 8, 4, 0, 4, and 1. No one could reach double figures, for only the second time in over 150 years of Test cricket. There were no demons on the pitch but Josh Hazlewood (five wickets for eight runs) and Pat Cummins (four for 21) displayed fast bowling of the highest calibre to demolish India. The batsmen were completely exposed by the bounce generated by the tall Australian pacers, who bowled an impeccable line and length.
Mayank Agarwal (9), Cheteshwar Pujara (0) and Ajinkya Rahane (0) were all out in similar fashion, jabbing at deliveries that were angled in.
Kohli fell for four, driving far away from his body and giving a catch to the man at gully.
At one stage, reduced to 26/8, India seemed set to equal the all-time record low of 26 (New Zealand vs England) but Hanuma Vihari hit a four to avoid that particular ignominy.
India have now lost three successive Test matches well inside three days, the previous two defeats coming in New Zealand early this year.
Kohli blamed the “defensive” approach of the batsmen for the collapse. “They bowled similar lengths in the first innings. We were handling it better then and had a plan around it,” he said.
“We lacked intent because we probably should have seen where the game needs to go rather than where it has come till now,” he said. “The batsmen needed to keep moving the game forward which they weren’t able to do. The way we batted allowed them to look more potent than they probably were in the morning because they bowled similar lengths in the first innings as well and we batted way, way better in the first innings than we did in the second innings.” — TNS/Agencies