The Underdog’s Day

I still remember the post match conference last year of the India England Test series 2016-17 home season where the Indian captain Virat Kohli during post match conference said, “We don’t want to be complacent”. Exactly some four months down the line, against the alleged feeble Australian attack, this is exactly what Indians did: Being complacent.  Australia came into this test match with talks about their worst performance, again facing a whitewash and all that. But the hard work of the boys showed the difference. An emphatic win by 333 runs and that too against the mighty Indian batting line-up is something they will cherish for the long time.

Famous Indian Batting collapse, missed and dropped chances, poor use of DRS, Kohli missing out on duck for the first time, Ashwin’s inability to push for wickets and what not. All of these have been key pointers in India’s defeat. Since 2012 India had not lost a Test at home and always has been always looked like a force to reckon with especially in this home season. Last time Australia toured India for Tests they were crushed 4-0. They entered this match having lost their past nine Tests in Asia and particularly a nightmare performance in Sri-Lanka.

So, finally India’s longest unbeaten strike comes to an end and that too in such a shameful manner. It will be euphemism to say that India was bowled out cheaply in both the innings. To be apt, Indians did not have a reply to the reeling deliveries of O’keefe (12/70- one of the best figures by foreign spinner on Indian soil) and Lyon(5/74).  The extent to which the Aussies spin duo outplayed their so called superior counterparts in of course a daunting situation raises lots of questions on the credibility on the Indian spinners. Lyon’s deliveries spun more than Ash’s and O’keefe looked more dangerous with every bowl he bowled also responsible for 7/11 show (India losing 7 wickets for 11 runs out of which O’keefe too 5)

It is always said that luck favors the brave. Australian captain Steven Smith showed us why. Dropped catches, wrong decision and missed opportunities is something which no fielding team will like and much to the dismay of the Indian team, all of them went in favour of smith who hit a memorable century in challenging conditions and yet again showed us why he is one of the world’s finest batsmen and justified his numero uno rank. On the contrary, Indian captain Virat Kohli who was out for a rare duck in the first innings. Indian batting failure shows that how much this batting line-up is dependent on its captain. Renshaw (68), Starc (61) also showed how to bat on this pitch. The description of this test will be incomplete without mention of Umesh Yadav, a silver lining for India in this test match with his solid bowling. None of the Indian batsman took precedence from Rahul (64) who showed how to bat on this pitch in the first innings.

I am an Indian and this defeat grieves me a lot. But then the better team won. In fact, Aussies were better in all departments wrapping up the test in less than three days. Starting off as an underdog, Australia showed that there is no substitute to hard work and perseverance. Somewhere I feel this defeat will be a blessing in disguise for the Indian, more like a wakeup call. After all, even the lion takes a step back before jumping on its prey. It would be interesting to see how this series will unfold and what will be India’s reply. Till then, keep supporting and subscribe to the blog.

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

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