India vs Australia 1st Test: History repeats itself as Virat Kohli and Co commit same old mistakes in Adelaide

First Published 6, Dec 2018, 5:46 PM IST
India vs Australia 1st Test: Virat Kohli and Co commit same old mistakes in Adelaide
Highlights

Playing seven batsmen, Virat Kohli made the decision to bat first and India probably regretted the fact that they couldn’t capitalise. Barring Cheteshwar Pujara, the rest failed due to pathetic shot selections and poor application.

Adelaide: On the first day of the first Test against Australia on Thursday, India, after winning the toss, had virtually thrown its advantage down the drain at 56/4 in the first session.

Playing seven batsmen, Virat Kohli made the decision to bat first and India probably regretted the fact that they couldn’t capitalise. Barring Cheteshwar Pujara, the rest failed due to pathetic shot selections and poor application.

Here are a few insights into what went wrong for India on Day 1 of the four-Test series
 

Experts and analysts have always spoken about how India's batting was way better than Australia's sans Steven Smith and David Warner, and Kohli's pre-series net sessions have only added on to it to raise all our hopes and expectations.

Kohli's weaknesses against the balls outside his off-stump is well known but those seemed to have been ironed out this year when he played against England and Proteas. He fell again to that shot in Adelaide. But this time it was a sensational one-handed catch by Usman Khawaja at gully off Pat Cummins.

The rest of the top order was no better with KL Rahul unable to resist a wide bait thrown by Josh Hazlewood, who had bowled the first five balls in the over angling into the right hander but pushed the sixth one wide.

Leave apart wickets, Australia had won a mental battle too early in the game.

In the warm-up game against Cricket Australia XI, Murali Vijay had invoked memories of his former self when the Aussies toured India in 2016-17, in which he had been edged behind to the keeper off fast bowlers thrice.

The Tamil Nadu opener's judgement outside the off-stump and defence was right on track and he promptly edged Mitchell Starc behind after teasing to fire in his first 21 balls.

The middle-order batsman and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has had issues against spin and Australia knew which end to attack. Nathan Lyon who has had good success against Rahane, probed him with sharp turns and subtle variations in pace.  Rahane edged Lyon twice either side of stepping out and tonking him for six; the short-leg came into play several times but the end came rather disappointingly as Hazlewood lured him with a wide ball and Rahane, like Rahul, hit it outside the off-stump and soon it was a brilliant catch. Even before the lunch break, India were 56/4.

Pujara played 29 dot balls and stood tall among the ruins. Rohit Sharma too hit a couple of good shots off Cummins - a pull and a lofted inside out drive. Pujara had found some much-needed company in Rohit who slog swept  Nathan Lyon over mid-wicket. But he soon underlined the performance of the much acclaimed India's top order, as he went after Lyon with another ugly slog sweep - a ball after the six - and top-edged down the fielder’s throat and walked back.

Rishabh Pant, always known for his aggressive batting, displayed that and took his chances against Mitchell Starc. But he did not last long as Lyon had him caught by captain and wicketkeeper Tim Paine. A little caution was required with Pujara showing ample patience and ready to battle it on at the other end.

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