Former Australian batsman Mark Waugh feels that it is impossible for Team India to stage an inspired fightback in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after the visitors suffered a soul-crushing eight-wicket defeat in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval.
India dominated a major part of the first two days of the pink ball Test despite suffering a horrendous collapse in the first innings post the dismissal of Virat Kohli and a plethora of dropped catches on the second day. Despite all the faux pas, the visitors still managed to eke out a 53-run-lead after the culmination of the first innings.
The third day started with India ahead in the game but then tragedy struck. In what was one of the greatest-ever displays of seam bowling, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins ran riot, forcing the Indians to suffer the ignominy of registering their lowest-ever Test total of 36. Australia won the game easily by eight wickets and with Virat Kohli not available for the remainder of the series and Mohammed Shami having joined him thanks to the fracture that he suffered courtesy a Pat Cummins bumper, the visitors have their backs firmly against the walls.
Speaking on Fox Cricket, Mark Waugh reckoned that India’s best chance in the series was to win at the Adelaide Oval, and now that they have bottled it, he feels that there is absolutely no chance that an Indian side-sans Virat Kohli has any chance of winning a single Test, let alone the series.
“No hope, no hope. I thought Adelaide was the Test that they could win on paper and with Virat Kohli here for just the one Test. I thought the conditions would suit them,” Mark Waugh told Fox Cricket.
“I just can’t see how they can bounce back (after) Australia whitewashed them on the third day. So ‘no’ is the answer four-nil to Australia,” he added.
Mark Waugh isn’t the sole Australian cricketer who has forecasted a 0-4 whitewash for India in the wake of their morale-sapping defeat in Adelaide. Former Aussie stumper Brad Haddin had recently said that it will be tough for the Ajinkya Rahane-led team to draw energy and inspiration in the absence of Virat Kohli.
Haddin, however, added that the presence of Rohit Sharma can play a huge part. Rohit is currently undergoing quarantine and he will only be available for the last two Tests in Sydney and Brisbane.
“If they are going to get back into the game, what I want to know is where they’re going to get their energy from. Virat Kohli is gone now and a lot of the energy comes off the back of what he does. He’s a world-class player, he’s their leader,” Brad Haddin had said on Fox Cricket.
“I would have a look at bringing someone in like Rohit Sharma. If he comes out of quarantine and he’s in good knick and he’s fit enough to play, I’d put him straight in because I think they need a senior player like that to take the anxiety out of everything and just get everyone thinking about cricket again.” he added.
The second Test of the four-match series will take place on Boxing Day at the MCG, a venue where India won by 137 runs in the 2018-19 rubber.