India harshly learned some lessons during the catastrophic defeat against Australia in the first test match of the Border Gavaskar trophy.
The third day of a test match is often considered as the moving day since the pendulum is well swung in one team’s side in the contest on this day. Things shifted for worse from the Indian perspective on day three of the first test of the Border Gavaskar trophy. The Australian pacers made history by reducing the visitors for 36 runs in the second innings and eventually winning the match by eight wickets.
It was a monumental collapse for Virat Kohli’s men as they had dominated the first half of the test match by taking a lead of 53 runs in the first innings. It is going to take a big effort from India to pull themselves up from this demotivating defeat to bounce back in the boxing day test. Here are the major talking points from the crushing first test against Australia.
Work to do on the weakness of Shaw
There was a lot of debate surrounding the opening partner of Mayank Agarwal. The team management went with Prithvi Shaw. In hindsight, the decision looks poor after Shaw got out for cheap scores in both innings. Getting out for bad scores in the first Australian tour of one’s career is normal for a seasoned player, let alone for a young player like Shaw. However, the manner of his dismissals has indicated that Indian team management may have to take a call on his selection for the boxing day test.
Shaw is struggling to counter the deliveries that make late inwards movement. His poor footwork doesn’t help him to make contact at the right time for an incoming delivery. These technical aspects need to be improved by good coaching rather than piling on the pressure on Shaw by throwing him in the deep end at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26.
Bowlers continue to work well as a unit for India
The biggest takeaway for the Indian team is the performance of their bowling unit in the first innings. In the hostile conditions, they showed that they have the quality to trouble Australian batsmen. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami were relentless with a tight line, while Ravichandran Ashwin showed attacking intent in his bowling rather than looking at just stopping the flow of runs.
Umesh Yadav also did his job well by taking crucial wickets in the first innings. The Indian team will be sweating on Shami’s injury as he has reportedly suffered a fracture in his bowling hand. Nevertheless, it was yet another powerful display from bowlers away from home. If only they were supported well by batsmen in the second innings.
Big scope for improvement in the field
India was well on top of Australia in the first innings as bowlers were creating chances at will. However, their efforts were floundered by poor fielding. Marnus Labuschagne was given reprieve twice in the field. Tim Paine survived early in his innings. The Australian captain went on to score 74, helping the team to eat up India’s lead.
It has been a recurring theme for India in the field. They were poor during the white ball series and the same trend continued in the first test. Those catches make a big impact against big opposition like Australia. The test matches will be coming thick and fast on this tour, so the Indian coaching team needs to find a way to stop this trend of poor fielding or else they are in for a long three test matches.
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