If you are an Indian cricket fan and if you missed the first session of today’s Test match between India and Australia in Adelaide, then you have probably avoided a heart-break. Such was the manner in which the team batted this morning. But more than India’s dismal show with the bat, some major credit should go to the Australian quicks who bowled consistently well in the right areas forcing Indian batsmen to nick the ball and eventually get bundled out for India’s lowest ever Test score(36).
‘Heartbreak’ would be an understatement to describe the feelings of an Indian cricket fan today. From hoping for a victory in the Adelaide Test to praying for the score to cross 42, we all had mixed emotions today. It all started right from ball one. Both Cummins and Hazlewood were right on their money from ball one itself. Both bowled consistently in the right areas and forced Indian batsmen to nick the ball. The first hour of today’s play was nothing more than an amazing display of proper Test match bowling. There was never a loose ball from both.
India’s collapse started with the wicket of night-watchman Jasprit Bumrah. He hit the ball straight into Cummins’ hand of his own bowling. Even though this was predictable, the things that followed were unpredictable even to our wildest imaginations. India’s both premier batsmen- Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara were trapped by Pat Cummins, whereas Hazlewood ran through the rest of the batting unit. And India went from 7-1 to 19-6 quite fast. The innings was finally forced to end on 36/9 when Shami was hit on his hand by a brutal bouncer from Cummins. Hazlewood ended his spell with unbelievable figures of 5-8 from just 5 overs. Cummins picked up 4 wickets from his spell of 10 overs.
This score of 36 is India’s lowest ever score in Test cricket history. The previous lowest was 42 against England at Lords in 1974. And to make things worse, this is the lowest total by any Test-playing nation in this century. This is also only the second instance in Test history where all eleven batsmen of a team couldn’t end up scoring two digits. And most importantly it was the first instance where India have lost a Test match when Virat has won the toss. In 25 of the previous Test matches where he had won the toss India had gone on to win 21 and drew 4.