Australia slammed the brakes hard on Indian cricket team’s march towards a respectable score and so hard were the brakes slammed that Indians couldn’t even fathom what just happened.
In what is undoubtedly India’s worst ever total in the first innings of a test match, the host team lost a whopping 7 wickets in just 11 runs and were limited to a paltry total of 105. The Indian collapse was a remarkable one against Australia on the second day of their first Test as the host team was playing at 94/3.
But an innocent looking Steve O’Keefe became a ferocious wicket gulping giant grabbing six of the last seven wickets, giving away just eight runs. O’Keefe didn’t have a reputation to live up to and with just four Tests before this match and his debut against India, the Indian batsmen may not have had the clue what the bowler was packing.
The spectators had just settled down for the post-lunch session with a hope that the Indian middle order will take on the reins and take India to a respectable score; however, O’Keefe had something else on his mind and the Australian left-arm spinner ended up destroying the famed Indian batting.
After rolling out rank turners against South Africa and struggling against their spinners in late 2015, India prepared good tracks against New Zealand and England and won pretty handsomely. Somehow, they couldn’t resist the urge to take on Australia on a turning track, and the decision has backfired. Australia, 143/4 in their second innings, now lead by 298 runs. This Test is as good as lost, and only some miraculous batting in their second innings can save them.
Anil Kumble, India’s head coach, put it down to “one bad day” in office. “You are bound to have a bad day (after a long and successful run). This pitch was certainly challenging, so we needed to show a lot more restraint. It was unfortunate that once Rahul got out, we lost the bearing,” he said.