The second test of the India vs Australia series at Brisbane, was setup for a close finish till close of play on Day 3. A sudden collapse by India on Day 4, ensured that the hosts marched to victory, by 4 wickets.
After having bowled India out for a paltry 224 earlier in the day, Australia managed to surpass the 128 runs needed for a win.This victory gives the hosts a 2-0 lead in the Test series.
It was yet another routine sight of India collapse, which fans had to contend with, early in the morning, when the Australian bowlers knocked out 4 Indian wickets within 11 runs, leaving the Indian tail to fight against the hostile Aussie pacers. This batting collapse was one of the events that eventually brought the test match to a conclusion within Day 4, inspite of both teams scoring in excess of 400 in the first innings.
Indians surrender to a revitalized Johnson
The absence of overnight batsman Shikhar Dhawan at the crease, during the start of fourth day’s play, was something disconcerting for the Indians to begin proceedings with – Dhawan was forced to hold himself back at the start of the day owing to a wrist injury he had sustained during net practice in the morning. And this minor disturbance in the batting order did not help the Indians at all, as Kohli, Rahane, Rohit and Dhoni – were sent back to the pavilion in quick succession by the fearsome bowling of Mitchell Johnson, which was ably complemented by Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.
Pujara , Ashwin and Umesh fight, Dhawan braves injury
In a rare show of resistance from the Indian middle order, Ravichandran Ashwin paired up with Cheteshwar Pujara to lend a semblance of sanity to India’s innings. However, the partnership did not last long as Ashwin was adjudged caught behind off a Starc delivery. Pujara, too, perished soon afterwards after scoring a gritty 43. The Indian innings found some vigour after Shikhar Dhawan decided to resume his innings, braving his wrist injury, and teamed up with No 9 batsman Umesh Yadav to keep the scoreboard ticking for some more time. A 60 run partnership between the two took India past the 200 run mark, but the fight died soon after Dhawan’s dismissal for 81. India’s leaking fuel tank could sustain the batting jalopy no further than 224, leaving Australia with a modest target of 128 in the last innings.
Australia cruise to victory despite Ishant’s wickets
Ishant Sharma attempted to inject some life into the match by picking up the wickets of Warner and Watson within the first 7 overs of the chase. His efforts could not change the end result as Chris Rogers’ fluent half century, with handy support from skipper Smith and Shaun Marsh, put the match beyond India’s control. A period of frenetic activity in the dying stages of the game saw Australia lost 3 wickets within a space of 8 runs, but it was too little and too late for an Indian fight back.
India vs Australia getting one sided
The Test series is steadily spiraling out of India’s control and inspite of episodes of tenacity at various points in Adelaide and Brisbane, the visitors have not managed to save either Test. The same story is applicable to most of the Test matches that this young Indian team has played on foreign soil in the last one year – from South Africa to New Zealand to England, Test matches at all these locations have seen India reach strong positions, that slowly get eroded due to the team’s inability to dominate the opposition over longer periods of time. Adelaide and Brisbane reflected the same sorry scenario!
One cannot overemphasize this point – Indians need to WIN Tests outside home more regularly, and not just bat or bowl well for a couple of sessions !