Millennium Post

Aussies ensure 'Virat' win

This is going to sting for India. And sting badly for quite some time now. But take absolutely nothing away from Australia, who have been the only team in this home summer to outclass, outmatch and simply outplay India. They won an important toss, batted decently in their first innings, came out after lunch on Day II and changed the game with just awesome cricket.

Ever since, they've been simply unstoppable. Unheralded left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe, on Saturday, grabbed a sensational match-haul of 12 wickets as a sloppy India slumped to a humiliating 333-run defeat inside three days in the first cricket Test against Australia here.

The Aussies set a daunting target of 441, riding on skipper Steve Smith's batting masterclass on a rank turner and then skittled out the hapless hosts for a paltry 107 in 33.5 overs to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

The embarrassing defeat also ended India's unbeaten streak of 19 Tests with the last defeat coming against England at Kolkata in late 2012.
The 32-year-old O'Keefe did the star turn once again with identical figures of 6/35 in both innings as India failed to even cross 110 in both innings.

It was a total disaster for the World No.1 Test team, who were simply outclassed in all departments of the game and they further compounded their miseries with atrocious shot selection, shoddy fielding and poor referrals.

Skipper Virat Kohli had a rare bad Test match where he had scores 0 and 13 in both innings of the game. India collectively posted their lowest aggregate for a home Test match and ended up suffering their second biggest defeat at home in terms of runs.

Kohli was out in the second innings shouldering arms to an angled delivery from O'Keefe which dashed India's minuscule hopes of a miraculous comeback.

As many as six Indian batsmen failed to reach double figures with only Cheteshwar Pujara showing some stomach for fight with a score of 31.
After Smith's superb 109, his 18th Test ton on a spiteful pitch, there was no comeback for India as both openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay made a mess of DRS when it was the umpire's call.

With demons of the turner working overtime on their minds, the Indian batsmen were unable to negotiate the turner which boomeranged on them.

The Indian batsmen, similar to the first innings, had no clue on how to tackle 32-year-old O'Keefe, who had his finest hour in international cricket.
Neither could they properly negotiate wily Nathan Lyon (4/53) as both made life miserable for the Indian batsmen.

In fact, the Aussie spinners showed how to bowl on a turner, something that was lacking in Ravichandran Ashwin (match figures of 7/182), Ravindra Jadeja (match haul of 5/139) and Jayant Yadav (2/101). After the 7/11 debacle in the first innings, the second innings saw India lose 6 for 8.

Earlier, Australia having taken a commanding first innings lead of 155 by scoring 260 and then bundling out the hosts for a paltry 105 rode on captain Stephen Smith's lucky and plucky first-ever century on Indian soil (109) to make 285 before they were dismissed at the end of the first session which was extended.

Smith, given multiple lives, compiled his first hundred in this country and of the series itself as Australia tightened the noose around a dispirited and deflated India. India crashed from 89 for five to 107 all out in under ten overs.

India's highest ever successful fourth innings run-chase at home has been 387 against England in 2008 at Chennai. Umesh Yadav, the only other successful bowler, finished with 2 for 39 to add to his 4 for 32 in the first innings.
Next Story
Share it