The abject capitulation before some quality bowling has once again propped up a question mark on Indian batsmen’s ability to counter Australian bowlers on seaming wickets.
It’s an age old thought that Indian batters find themselves at sea on wickets abroad, but the surrender at Adelaide Oval has again made the cricket pundits go guns blazing.
It is not that India batsmen lack intent or confidence against world class bowling attack but the 36/9 reading at Adelaide
Oval does paint a negative and more embarrassing picture, especially when the Indians face Australia in the next three Test matches.
Their innings score of 36 was the lowest in 544 Tests going back to 1932, worse than their previous low of 42 against England at Lords in 1974.
Some former India cricketers even blame the team selection. And Prithvi Shaw’s poor show in both the innings in Adelaide has only added to the critisism quotient when it comes to selection for the opening slot.
Australia captain Tim Paine was expecting a `dogfight’ and not a three-day finish while his India counterpart Virat Kohli raised question mark on the mental strength of his batsmen and their ablity to withstand pressure while claiming that the Australian attack could have been tackled with intent.
Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins made mockery of the Indian batsmen with some fine exhibition of seam bowling in the first session on day three of the Test match in Adelaide. That India will be without their tallismanic captain Kohli in the rest of the series compounds the problems in a difficult series.
The Australia pacers did not swing the ball much but managed movement off the wicket. The nicks behind the wicket and to the slip cordon said it all that there was appreciable deviation. The Indians just did not show any intent nor capitalise on a handy first innings lead of 53.
While former India captain Sunil Gavaskar gave full credit to the Australia attack than putting blame on India’s batting behind the poor show, ex-India skipper and opener Virender Sehwag said he did not wish such an abject surrender.
“I have always said that Shubman Gill, not Prithvi Shaw, should have opened with Mayank Agarwal. I don’t understand why he (Shaw) is being given a long rope while disregarding other deserving batsmen. Indian batsmen will have to rise to the occassion while playing without Kohli. A real intent is the need of the hour,” said former India batsman Ashok Malhotra.
Kohli going paternity leave from the second Test.
“When India were 19 for 6, I didn’t have to look at our statistician in the commentary box; the number 42 has been entrenched in my mind since I was a kid. The new number is 36—India’s lowest Test score.
India have lost to Australia before, by big margins too, and even on the third day; but it’s the 36 that makes this defeat unique and the moment, albeit not celebratory, historic. It is India’s worst batting performance in their 88 years of Test cricket.
It’s important to not look at 36 in isolation but at 165, 191,242,124, 244, and then at it. These are team totals in their last three Tests (two in New Zealand) when the ball moved. This is all India could muster, and they lost all three. So, 36 as a low score may be an aberration, but of late India have been incompetent as a batting unit when the ball has swung or seamed, said former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar.