India vs Australia | Talking points from Day 3 of the 2nd Test

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© BCCI Media

India vs Australia | Talking points from Day 3 of the 2nd Test

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SportsCafe Desk


India regained a semblance of control on the third day of the second Test at Bengaluru as Ravindra Jadeja ran through the Australian tail at the start of the day to restrict Australia to 276 before half centuries from KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara took India to 213/4, giving them a lead of 126.

Brief Scores:India 189 all out and 213/4 in 72 overs (Pujara 79*, Rahul 51; Hazlewood 3/57) against Australia 276 all out in 122.4 overs (Marsh 66, Renshaw 60; Jadeja 6/63, Ashwin 2/84)

The pitch is not as bad as it had seemed initially

The way the Indian batsmen batted in their first innings, it seemed like the Bengaluru pitch was a carbon copy of the one prepared in Pune. It seemed like we were in for another three-day finish. However, now on the third day of this Test match, the batsmen are looking more comfortable out in the middle, while the game is still alive and kicking.

A total of eight wickets fell on the day, and most of them were down to poor shots rather than any explosions on the surface. Starc was dismissed while attempting a slog sweep, Lyon was caught in front of the stumps while playing a sweep shot to a really full delivery, Hazlewood attempted a slog, Rahul once again threw his wicket away while attempting an extravagant drive, while Jadeja also got out while playing a drive after pacing down the track.

This is certainly not a wicket where you can drive the ball on the up while trusting the bounce or movement off the pitch. Batsmen who showed that respect to the wicket have scored runs. Watching the likes of Pujara, Rahul, and Rahane bat in the second innings, India’s first innings total seems an even bigger disappointment now.

India’s poor luck with reviews continues

While the Indians have seemed clueless on how to use their reviews, they have also been at the receiving end of some tough DRS calls. Virat Kohli, who has been unusually quiet with the bat in this series, was given out by a decision which could have easy gone the other way.

The Indian skipper was given out LBW by the on-field umpire off Hazlewood’s bowling in the 35th over. Kohli immediately went for a review as he was convinced that he had hit the ball before it touched his pads. The replay, however, proved to be inconclusive. The pad and the bat came together at almost the same time, and as in such cases, the third umpire did not have enough evidence to overturn the on-field decision. Kohli was given out as India went down to 112/3.

Had the on-field umpire given him not out and the Australians used their review, the decision would have gone in favour of Kohli. He seems to be running out of luck at the moment.

Smith under-using his spinners?

We saw Virat Kohli use Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav for 51 overs during Australia’s first innings, while Ravindra Jadeja, who picked up 6 wickets, bowled only 21.4 overs – the lowest among all the bowlers. However, the Indian pacers were were good at restricting the flow of runs. Ishant Sharma went for 48 runs in his 27 overs, while Umesh Yadav went for 57 runs in 24 overs. The pressure they were able to built helped Jadeja to come and attack the batsman.

For the Australians, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood were not able to contain the runs. The duo conceded a total of 102 runs in the 26 overs they bowled. This allowed the Indian batsmen to play the spinners more cautiously, curving down some of the attacking shots which got them out in the first innings. One felt, Smith could have used Lyon and O’Keefe a bit more than he did on the third day.

In the last 5 IND vs SA ODIs, SA was bowled out twice, while IND was bowled out only once.

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