(Reuters) – Australia crushed India by eight wickets inside three days of the first test at Adelaide Oval yesterday, skitting the tourists for their lowest innings score in 88 years of test cricket and taking the lead 1-0 in the series four games.
Josh Hazlewood (5-8) and Pat Cummins (4-21) took a tight test during the day in a destructive period of fast bowling to open the day, ripping through the Indian batting with much less trouble in less than two hours to dismiss the tourists at 36.
Australian batsmen, while playing without pressure, managed to chase the winning 90-goal target with some ease, opener Joe Burns boosting his confidence with an unbeaten 51 that included the six who secured victory.
If the tourists were stunned, guests would also be surprised by a turn of events many would not have anticipated when India came out batting with a 62 run front and nine second-inning wickets in hand.
“We were expecting real dog fights until the end, the end of day four, maybe day five in this test,” said Australian captain Tim Paine.
“Once again, it shows the talent we have with the ball and when our boys are executed, and anything is in the wicket, that’s what can happen.”
The margin of victory will be a heavy blow to India’s morale as well as their hopes of repeating the victory of their pre-marriage test series in Australia two years ago.
None of India’s batsmen, including the prolific Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara’s goalscorer, have been able to reach double figures – only the second time any team has had a test match. Their innings score of 36 was the lowest in 544 tests going back to 1932, worse than their previous low of 42 against England Lords in 1974. Only two countries have managed fewer runs in the long history of the format.
“It’s very difficult to put (my) feelings into words. We got ahead of 60 when we got there today and completely collapsed, ”said Kohli, who lost for the first time in 26 tests where he had won the toss.
“When you work hard for two days … to get yourself in a good position and then literally in an hour, you put yourself in a position where it’s impossible to win, it’s it really hurts. ”
CROWD SOCIAL DISTRIBUTION
Cummins and Hazlewood’s irresistible bowling was responsible for that turnaround, which combined in one early period to capture four free-kick wickets over 29 balls, capturing a crowd of 15,026 social distances.
Later, Hazlewood Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin moved in consecutive balls and despite being denied a hat-trick, the big ruler bagged his eighth five-wicket test in his next match when Hanuma Vihari sent back.
The tourists will be without Kohli’s leadership for the remaining tests in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane as the skipper returns home for the birth of his first child, but they will also sweat on the fitness of Mohammed Shami.
The ruler took the shot to the arm of a short Cummins delivery and was unable to bat on, bringing a premature end to India’s pitiful pubs when he retired hurt and went to hospital for scans.
The win extended Australia’s record in daytime tests to 8-0 after their first meeting with India under the lights, but victory had certainly not looked that far even as recently as Friday afternoon.
Paine was named the Player of the Game for his 73 unbeaten Friday and helped Australia stay in touch with India’s first tally of 244 by scratching their way to 191.
The decision to look past Cummins and Hazlewood may have been a case of being unable to choose between them after what had been thought in the past with the very best trips for the Australian speed unit in recent years.
“It was just one of those days when everything fell apart, everything we tried worked,” he said.