Udayavni Special

India record their lowest Test score of 36, Australia need 90 to win


Team Udayavani, Dec 19, 2020, 11:08 AM IST

Adelaide: The Indian cricket team on Saturday suffered the ignominy of being restricted to its lowest ever total in Test cricket, collapsing to 36/9 in the terminated second innings against Australia on the third morning of the first Day/Night Test here.

India’s earlier lowest score was 42 at the Lord’s in 1974 against England, known in Indian cricket parlance as “Summer of 42”.

To make matters worse, star pacer Mohammed Shami’s series could well be over due to a wrist injury from a short ball from Pat Cummins, which could potentially be a fracture. Shami could not continue and the Indian innings was terminated at 36 for 9 in 21.2 overs.

After a decent 53-run first innings lead, India are now staring at a humiliating defeat with only 89 runs to defend.

At one stage, India were reduced to 26 for 8 and looked like equalling the lowest ever Test score (26 by New Zealand) but Hanuma Vihari’s boundary helped them evade entry into the dark pages of cricketing history.

On the day, the Indian batting was completely exposed by the extra bounce generated by Australian pacers, who bowled every delivery on the off-middle channel after landing on the seam.

In an inexplicable collapse, India’s much vaunted batsmen fell like nine pins with not a single one able to reach double figures.

Once nightwatchman Jasprit Bumrah (2) was out in the first over, the home pacers, led by Josh Hazlewood (5-3-8-5) and Pat Cummins (10.2-4-21-4), literally decimated the tourists and also caused lasting damage to their already bruised egos.

The likes of Mayank Agarwal (9), Cheteshwar Pujara (0) and Ajinkya Rahane (0) were all out in similar fashion.

All the deliveries were almost identical, angled in, which forced the batsmen to jab at them and just bounced a wee bit more. They deviated a shade taking outside edges to Tim Paine behind the stumps.

Skipper Virat Kohli (4) was dismissed in the manner he used to get out in England back in 2014, trying to drive a delivery on the fifth stump and caught at gully.

What Indian batsmen didn’t factor in was the pitch suddenly becoming more livelier with extra bounce.

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