Day 3: Historic low for India as Australia go 1-0 up

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19 Dec 2020 | 04:09 AM
authorSomesh Agarwal

Day 3: Historic low for India as Australia go 1-0 up

Fiery Australian pacers left India punch drunk. They were all-out for 36, their lowest-ever Test score

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"Very hard to put feelings into words", mustered Virat Kohli. Well good for him that his job does not require him to go through that agony.

It was a day that every Indian fan would want to forget but a day tough to be forgotten for time to come. It was a day when the worst nightmare from whenever the team embarks on a foreign tour came true.

Sometimes the scorecard is a story in itself. And with no double digit score in there, the genre was horror for Indian fans. The day started with India 53 runs ahead and looking the more favourable side to win. There were opinions coming in. Bat long, be Pujara or play your shots, there is a ball with your name on it. The way Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood bowled, every ball had the name of an Indian batsman on it but, with absolutely nothing to score off.

Within an hour a likely Indian victory turned into a scenario where the target for the batsmen was to ensure crossing 42 runs - the lowest ever for India. Even that objective remained a distant dream.

When Jasprit Bumrah - the nightwatchman - got out, India were 15/2. They were five down for the same score. Standing at the other end, the only modus operandi that Virat Kohli could think of was to attack. He played away from his body towards backward point to move the score to 19. To the next ball, kept slightly full by Cummins, he went for the attack again but could not cross the waiting bucket of the fielder at gully. Each successive dismissal starting from Kohli's wicket was the lowest score ever at which India had lost that many wickets. 

The Australia pacers had bowled better since the second new ball in the first innings. Today, they were relentless, making the batsmen play at almost every ball.  If Cummins incited the carnage, Hazlewood was the show-stopper.  

There was no shortage of faulty technique from Indian batsmen as well. Cheteshwar Pujara got an outside edge with his bat facing to the leg side. Mayank Agarwal was late, with his bat still coming down when he made contact with the first ball of the innings from Josh Hazlewood. Ajinkya Rahane was caught on the crease, did not get a stride forward for the full ball.

While the carnage is around, a soft dismissal is around the corner. Looking to score, Wriddhiman Saha chipped one to mid-wicket. With two balls that were unplayable for Ravi Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari, Hazlewood earned himself a five-for.

Battered were bruised as the number eleven, Mohammed Shami, retired out after taking a blow to his arm. The story was all but over for India in this Test. 

The chase was just a quality and a productive net session for the Australian openers. And having the opposition pacers bowling at you with a license to go carefree was the cherry on top. Going into the next Test, Australia could have asked for nothing more as both their openers were fluent, hitting boundaries at will. As for India's pacers, it did not seem like they paid any attention to the lengths the Aussie pacers operated at this morning. 

For Tim Paine, it was not that difficult to put the elation into words. Being a flag-bearer of the new Australia he was subtle while praising his bowlers while acknowledging that batting needs work. As for India, the story is set to get gloomier from here with no Kohli to grab the attention. 

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Virat KohliPatrick James CumminsJosh Reginald HazlewoodIndiaAustraliaIndia tour of Australia, 2020/21Australia vs India - 1st Test - Border-Gavaskar Trophy, 2020/21

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