IND V AUS | BORDER - GAVASKAR TROPHY |
4TH TEST, GABBA | BRISBANE
DAY 2 REVIEW
A revamped India under stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane have been through tougher tests in the previous two Tests at Melbourne and Sydney.
They have also dragged themselves into choppy water on a few occasions during this period. Saturday, the second day of this final Test, was another such day.
Here are 3 Reasons Why India Are Down:
1. Wayward End Bowling By India's Pacers
As a fan, you wouldn't know whether Shardul Thakur first, followed by Mohammed Siraj were instructed to bowl in such manner, but the duo suddenly switched to short pitched as well as an erratic length to the Aussie tailenders after the fall of Pat Cummins, their 8th wicket.
Up until then Thakur and Siraj, along with Washington Sundar and T Natarajan had bowled remarkably considering they have a collective experience of four Tests.
This unexpected change in plan resulted in 54 additional runs. The 8th wicket had fallen at 315 and the Aussie innings folded at 369.
2. The Hitman Throws His Wicket
If Team India had any chance of pressing for a win in this Test, it would have on the explosive batting of their vice-captain Rohit Sharma and wicket keeper batsman Rishabh Pant.
That initiative was lost when Rohit took the lure offered by Nathan Lyon and lobbed a catch to Mitchell Starc for the second time in back to back Tests.
The dismissal drew a scathing rebuke from India's legend, Little Master Sunil Gavaskar that was also backed by former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.
"Why? Why? Why? That's an unbelievable shot. That's an irresponsible shot," Gavaskar said in his Sport 7 commentary.
"You've just hit a boundary a couple of deliveries earlier, why would you play that shot? You're a senior player, there's no excuse, absolutely no excuse for this shot.
"An unnecessary wicket, gifted away."
This condemnation perhaps was enough for Rohit to address the press, not only defending his shot but vowing to play it again.
His response in text: "This is the shot that I play and I've played it very well in the past.
So it is something that I really back myself to do all the time.
That is the kind of role that I play in the team.
Yes, when it looks like that it looks bad, but you know that is something I don't really think too much into.
My focus has always been to make sure that once I'm in, I obviously want to make it count, make it big.
But having said that, there is a process which I like to follow and the process is obviously once I'm in I'm on top of the bowlers and I'm trying to keep that pressure on the bowling unit of the opposition.
Sometimes you get out, sometimes it goes over the ropes.
Yeah, it was unfortunate and a sad dismissal to be honest in the end. But again, like I said, those are my shots and I'll keep playing them."
You may call it arrogance or bold or simply straightforward, however, you'll notice Rohit using the word "obviously" twice in his response.
This "obviously" that he is referring to may not be clear to Gavaskar, Ponting and you, the fan.
3. Top Order's Slow Batting Adds Pressure
It were Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, who batted their hearts out in Melbourne to ensure India win the Test and draw the series level at 1-all.
However, it's this duo that is currently playing under pressure and building it as well due to their slow batting.
The Gabba pitch is different to the one in Melbourne and this calls for a change in approach from these two, the most experienced batsmen in this injury-ravaged team.
If these two play in similar slow fashion on Day 3, there's a possibility the Aussies will step up the pressure.
Lack of a steady flow of runs often makes the best of batsmen succumb under pressure.
Here Are 3 Reasons That'll Save India
1. Brisbane Storm And Rain To India's Rescue
The Brisbane thunderstorm accompanied by heavy rain soon after tea put a halt to Australia's charge.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) in Australia have hinted at further rain during Saturday night and possible flooding in few areas.
Should such a scenario continue and disrupt a major part of Day 3, Rahane-Pujara combine, Team India and you, the fan, can sit back in relief and thank the Brisbane thunderstorm as that would dim Australia's chances of winning.
2. Pacers And Rohit Undo Their Harakiri
India's pacers, Siraj and Thakur, who along with Sundar and Natarajan impressed until they went wayward after Australia's 8th wicket fell, will have to undo their error and bowl incisively should there be sufficient play possible in this Test and should Australia bat again.
Similarly, Rohit will have to erase his blemishes of the past two innings and play that big one he's referring to when India bats again.
These revivals could ensure India bounce back in the game.
3. Top And Middle Order Take Control
The top order, led by Rahane and Pujara need to discover their Melbourne mojo back.
When these two lead from the front and score runs at a fast clip, the batsmen to follow, a struggling Mayank Agarwal, Rishabh Pant, Sundar, Thakur and the tail are sure to pick on this positive vibe and make a match out of it.
It were Rahane, Pujara and Pant who were at the forefront in the Melbourne victory and Sydney fightback, displaying their CIA (Character, Intent, Attitude) qualities for the opposition and world to see.
For updated scorecard, click here