The Indian scorecard for Day 1 of the second Test between India and Australia is a peculiar one. At the top of it is KL Rahul with 90 runs to his name. At the bottom is India’s final score, 189. Rahul’s score hence, looks an extraordinary one; even more so when you consider the numbers that are against the names of his team mates.
Because after him, only one man has scored more than 20 runs. That man is Karun Nair at no. 6 with 26. He is followed by Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, both on 17. Captain Virat Kohli has the fourth highest score and that is 12. Only five players have got into two figures in this innings and Nathan Lyon sweeps the rest of the stats. In fact, in this series, the positive stats continue to belong to the visitors so far.
Nathan Lyon returns with 8/50 as Australia bundle out India for 189 on the opening day; KL Rahul (90) the only positive for the hosts in Bangalore on Day 1.
On a wicket that was offering sharp turn and encouraging bounce as the day went by, Lyon ripped through the India innings. In the 22.2 overs that he bowled, he claimed the wickets of eight Indian batsmen including those of Kohli, Pujara, Rahane, Saha and finally KL Rahul. He is on a hat trick when he comes out to bowl next as Rahul and Ishant Sharma fell off successive deliveries.
The penultimate ball of the 34th over was delivered by the Australian off-spinner and it was nothing more than a simple off-break that was heading for the stumps. Instead of just defending the ball or working the ball to the leg side, Kohli, who initially went back trying to work it into the leg side, leg side, just shouldered arms to a ball that was going to hit middle and leg.
India 189 on Day 1 in Bangalore:
Perhaps the demons of the Pune pitch which turned square from day one was on his minds but the pitch at Bengaluru looked good for batting and the Indian captain’s decision to not offer a shot proved costly as he was out lbw.
The most glaring feature of their collapses has been their inability to judge the turn that Lyon brought in and O’Keefe had in Pune. Virat Kohli was dismissed once again on Day 1 for taking one to the pads after misjudging an off-break from Lyon.
Even as he decided to take the review, the replay on the big screen was enough to have him walking back to the pavilion as there was pin drop silence amongst the crowd after Kohli’s decision to review a plumb LBW decision.
Before this match, Kohli said that the Pune defeat was good for India as they could concentrate on a few things that was otherwise ignored during the unbeaten run. If Australia get a good lead and India repeat this performance in the second innings, Kohli and his men might be in for another educational experience.
What made matters even worse was the fact that Kohli himself knew that he was out and yet he decided to waste the review in any case. He was near the boundary ropes before the ball-tracking technology was on the big screen and the third umpire had to even ask the on-field umpire to ensure that he didn’t leave the pitch before the decision was announced.
The incident merely highlights the fact that although Kohli has scored a double century in each of his last four Test series, he isn’t having a great series so far and will need to get back in form as India look to bounce back from their embarrasing defeat in Pune and win the series.
Brief scores: India 189 (KL Rahul 90, Lyon 8/50). Australia 40/0 (Warner 23*, Renshaw 15*)